Business Continuity is often described as 'just common sense'. It is about taking responsibility for your business and enabling it to stay on course whatever storms it is forced to weather. It is about "Keeping Calm and Carrying On"!
Did you know?
20% of companies will suffer fire, flood, power failures, terrorism, hardware or software disaster.
Of those without a business continuity plan:
- 80% will fail in just over a year
- 43% will not even reopen
- 93% that experience a significant data loss are out of business within five years
Preparing your business:
1. Get Suitable Insurance
Make sure you are covered before an emergency has even occurred
What does your insurance really cover?
2. Risk Assessment
What are the hazards and threats that could potentially disrupt your business?
What is the likelihood that such events could happen and what would the impact be on your business?
3. Create Your Business Continuity Plan With Five Stages
Analyse your business
The first step towards developing a Business Continuity Plan is a really good look at what your business does and what resources you need to do it.
Use our helpful templates and guides to create a Business Impact Analysis and a Critical Requirements Analysis
Design your plan
Once you have understood your business and its vulnerabilities you need to look at some ways to protect yourself. Your plan could include the following:
- Out of hours contact details for staff, customers and suppliers
- Prepare a communications plan - who will you contact in an emergency and what will you say
- Document procedures - prepare 'how to guides' so staff can follow steps to complete each other's activities
- Agreed relocation options - if you can't access your premises, where else can you go
- Remote access to ICT / cloud based technology - can you access your computer network from different locations
- Secure offsite data storage - back up your computer systems and store back up tapes in fireproof cabinets in another location
- Alternative suppliers - where will you get your equipment if a supplier stops trading
Implement your plan
Once you have worked out what you need to do the next step is to do it. You will need to work out what is affordable and practical. Bear in mind that some things will be very straightforward to implement, whereas others may take longer to put in place.
Train your staff
Do all your staff know what the business continuity plan is? Do they know what actions they would take in a business continuity incident?
Validate your plans and train your staff
It is all well and good having plans, but how do you know they work? The best way to do this is to test them. This will also help to make sure that your staff understand their roles within the plans.
- Loss of ICT
- Loss of premises (fire, data loss, power loss)
- Loss of data (ICT outage)
- Severe weather
- Loss of staff (flu pandemic, severe weather, traffic incidents)
- Loss of external dependencies (fuel, electricity, telecommunications, water, partner, supplier)
Did you know?
- 90% of businesses that suffer total loss of a mission critical facility and do not have BCPs go out of business within 2 years.
- A company that experiences a computer outage lasting more than 10 days will never fully recover financially.
- Risk assess your business against your organisational risks
- Create a business continuity plan
- Test your plan!