Whatever the size of your business, you should have a business continuity plan or BCP. This will ensure your business can continue in its work, even if problems arise or disaster strikes.
In this blog, we look at why business continuity matters and what should go on your business continuity planning checklist.
Why is it important to consider business continuity?
Your business needs to keep going. It needs to make money, and it needs to meet your needs and those of your employees, if you have them. It’s worth remembering that if one area of your business goes down, it could well take the rest of the business with it. For example, if you’re a retailer and there is a flood in your warehouse, you won’t be able to restock your shops even if they managed to stay dry.
Even if you have a very small business, emerging problems could throw you into an unproductive panic. However, if you’ve already considered what could happen, you can calmly work through your action plan and keep your business going.
Writing a business continuity plan – your checklist
In order to keep your business going through a crisis, you need to write a business continuity plan. This will outline potential threats and detail what you are going to do about them.
First, analyse your threats and identify the impact of losing all or part of your…
- Team – who will deliver your business? Don’t just consider your payroll but remember to consider contractors, like your security team if you have one, and remote workers you outsource to.
- Partners – what will you do if your supply chain is disrupted?
- Facilities – where will you work from if there is a gas leak in your office? Where will you sell your products if your shop floods? Where will you keep your stock?
- Technology – how will you communicate with clients if your internet goes down? How will you take payments?
Once you’ve considered the impact of losing each of these key areas, it’s time to find solutions so your business can continue to trade.
For each area on the list above…
- Prioritise critical products, services, roles and personnel – which ones will lose you the most revenue if they cannot function normally? These are the ones to prioritise.
- Measure the impact of the disruption – how long could you manage without it and how much revenue will you lose?
- Create a Plan B – what will you do to mitigate against the problem, and how long could your business survive on it?
- Identify additional expenses – would you pay overtime to rectify problems, use data on top of the internet connection you’re paying for etc? Do you have the liquidity to meet these demands?
- Identify the personnel responsible for preventing and solving the problem – who is responsible and do they know what is required of them?
- Identify the person responsible for overall business continuity – do they understand the importance of testing the processes and continually updating the plan?
Business continuity support from Get Ahead
Get Ahead is proud to feature on many of our clients’ business continuity plans. From picking up the phone when the business line is down, to stepping into a business we already know to cover a personnel gap, there are countless ways we can help your business to keep moving even in times of crisis. We can even help you write your business continuity plan so nothing gets forgotten. To find out more, contact your local regional director today – it could be an important step towards protecting your business.