More and more businesses are recognizing the need for business continuity plans (BCP). This means that more companies, such as yourself, actually have BCPs.
But it also means that your clients and potential clients are aware of the need for such plans. So what do you do when a potential or existing client asks to see your BCP? Is this information private internal material or should it be made “public”?
Private or Public?
This is a tough situation to be in. On one hand, you’re lucky that you’re prepared and have considered how your company will react, survive, and maintain continuity of operations in the face of disaster or disruption. Being prepared such as you are has actually become a marketing and sales tool. When you need to differentiate your company from your competitors, you can speak about your BCP. You can highlight how you can guarantee continued service, product, and business relations in the event of a disaster. But on the flip side, these plans often involve private internal data that is not really for external knowledge.
The decision – to share or not to share – is up to you. But there are a few measures you can take to ensure that all parties are happy and protected:
- Non-Disclosure Agreement – the client should sign such a document before seeing your plans
- Excerpt the plan – you don’t need to show your client the full plan. Rather, excerpt it and highlight the key points that emphasize how you are prepared
- Table of Contents only – showing your client the table of contents is an excellent overview of your plan and gives you some easy talking points
- FAQ – prepare a list of questions and answers for the client that address how you handle specific situations
- Contact Information – give the client a reliable set of contact information. This way if something does happen, the client has peace of mind of knowing that he can contact you when he needs to
Of course this brings up an interesting question – what about the client? Is your client prepared with a BCP? It is worth you asking this question as well. Remember, business is a two-way street; you need to guarantee continued service but you also want assurances of a consistent revenue stream.
If you’re prepared but your client isn’t, now you’re the one left without knowing if, in the event of a disaster, your client will be able to maintain business, continue to generate revenue and in turn pay invoices and continue to be a revenue source for you.
So when a client asks for your BCP, be sure to do the same of your client. Both of you can rest easy at night knowing that you’re working with reliable and forward-thinking businesses. Being prepared goes a long way in protecting your business and confirming to outside eyes that you’re here to stay for the long-term.
KingsBridgeBCP offers businesses of all sizes BCP Software Solutions and industry know how based on best practices. We help build, exercise, and maintain Business Continuity Plans. Our services and software packages are customized to meet the wide range of our customers’ needs, ensuring we deliver the best value in every project. To learn more click here or check out our Services.