What is business continuity?
Business continuity plans are your way of ensuring that you can operate your organisation in the event of an emergency. It is important you take the time to write your plan, as although having good insurance helps, it does not provide everything your business needs to continue. Some examples of the areas you need to consider are:
- Staff shortages e.g. 15%-40% less staff due to a health pandemic
- A flood or fire destroys your place of work
- Loss of specialist resources or technology
- Your key supplier goes bankrupt
- A computer virus prevents you from working at a computer
- Industrial action either internally or externally
How can I prepare?
Review your organisation: Consider its aims and objectives. Think about who is involved in your business, including customers, contractors, suppliers, banks, insurers etc. You then need to highlight the procedures and activities which your business cannot run without, or would leave it seriously hampered.
Staffing: Consider your current staff and resource levels and calculate the minimum you need to continue running. This should also include the time you feel it would take to ensure your business is back to running as usual.
Risks: Highlight any potential risks to the ‘normal’ running of your business.
Plan: Develop alternative arrangements to reduce or avoid the highlighted risks
Train: Ensure all of your staff are aware and understand the implications of your business continuity plan, including specific roles they will play during any disruption to the norm.