Cyber-attacks, fires, social instability, theft, accidents or illness. Disaster can strike in a number of ways, preventing access to the resources your business needs to operate normally, or leaving you unable to work. However unlikely it might seem, it is crucial for businesses of all sizes to be prepared for the unexpected.
A business continuity plan helps prepare you for what, in the absolute worst case scenario, could affect your business. It is about identifying any possible risks and preparing a plan to be put in place that would alleviate the damage.
Your business continuity plan could be vital to protecting finances, ensuring you can continue to work and earn. While also minimising the chances your customers will go elsewhere while you are out of action. Here are five steps to help you develop your own plan and ensure your business can recover from the unexpected:
It is crucial to recognise the ‘mission critical’ parts of your business which you cannot afford to lose – those you would not be able to work normally without – and identify the risks that could stop you from trading. This could include:
Remember - every business is different. The risks you face, how you can respond, and how quickly you can recover will be individual to you. Take the time to think about your own worst case scenarios.
Consider the steps you would you need to take to get back to normal. How long might it take you? And at what cost? For example, you can lessen the impact to your business after a cyber-attack through the following actions:
It is important to review all your business insurance cover as part of the business continuity planning process – to see how it might help you recover from an incident quickly, and to identify any gaps in your cover.
You may wish to consider reviewing:
Look carefully at any policy excesses you might need to pay and then factor these costs into your business continuity plan.
The continuity plan is there to maintain business in the event of an emergency. It is crucial that all employees (new and existing) are aware of such a plan, and are able to access it at any given time. Regular reviews are critical to maintaining good preparation. Be sure to test it to iron out any problems – after all, you don’t want to discover holes in your plan when you really need it.
A successful business continuity plan requires the flexibility to be creative, within a given situation, and not be burdened by strict compliance and detailed procedures. A business continuity plan should identify decisions (including options) to be made during a disaster. Ask your broker to review your business continuity plan and get a second opinion.
Our business continuity and disaster recovery planning service provides comprehensive support to you in the preparation of a business continuity and disaster recovery plan. We: