Keeping your business operational is a full-time job. It’s a balancing act that requires you to keep a multitude of plates spinning – which has become even more challenging for many businesses in these pandemic times. But what happens if those plates stop spinning?
Sudden unexpected threats can catch you on the hop. What if something unexpected comes up that derails your usual operational procedures? How will you cope? What will you do to overcome the issue? And how will you get the business back on target?
The answer lies in having a thorough business continuity plan.
What Is A Business Continuity Plan?
A business continuity plan is a strategic plan that describes the risks that exist in the business, your strategy for dealing with these known and unknown risks, and how you and your team will overcome any issues, emergencies or gaps in trading etc.
None of us truly know what lies around the corner. Most businesses were not expecting the 2008 economic crash, or the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic. If you can plan ahead and put contingency plans in place, you’ll be better prepared when a worst-case scenario does appear.
How Do You Formulate Your Plan?
Every organisation’s business continuity plan will be different. We all have different business models, different company structures and risks that are particular to our own sectors. But the fundamental basis on which you create your business continuity plan will be the same however your company works.
- Identify the critical areas of your business – look at your operations and think about where they are most likely to break down under pressure. Are you reliant on a specific supplier to operate? Is there a particular machine/machinery that would halt production if it breaks down? Are you reliant on IT and therefore more vulnerable to cyberattacks or IT malfunction? Is there a key person or people that would affect the business’ ability to function if they are unexpectedly absent or resign? In short, look for anything that could go wrong or break down and how this could affect the whole business.
- Depending on the size or nature of your business, it may be necessary to create back-up continuity plans for each critical area as well as an overall continuity plan to cover the entire business.
- Consider who is the best person to be responsible for the business continuity plan and therefore tasked with periodically reviewing and updating it. In small businesses, this will typically sit with the owner/manager. Being responsible for keeping it current is important so that it is always fit for purpose.
- Make sure everyone knows the continuity plan – a business continuity plan is useless unless all staff are aware of the plan and know what to do.
- Ultimately, your continuity plan exists to keep the company operating in challenging times. It could be that your premise is flooded out and has to be closed down and moved to a temporary location. It may be that significant employee sickness hits you, leaving only a skeleton staff to run everything. Unexpected supply chain issues might leave you short of key goods or materials without warning. Whatever the circumstances, your plan needs a contingency in place, so you and your remaining staff can continue to trade, make sales and bring in revenue.
Talk To Us About Building A Business Continuity Plan
No plan can completely remove the threat of the unknown – that’s impossible. But with a continuity plan that’s well-conceived and ready to implement, you can reduce the potential risks and give you and your team a practical strategy and tactics to work with.
We’ll help you analyse your business to look for the critical areas and assess the potential risks. We’ll also help you put together a watertight business continuity plan that’s ready to implement if (and when) an unexpected threat occurs. Contact us today to get started – we’re here to help.
This publication has been provided as general information associated with the topics covered. It is not intended to be specific advice. We strongly recommend readers seek independent advice from a suitably qualified professional adviser prior to acting in relation to any of the matters discussed in this publication. No person or entity involved in this publication accepts any liability for any loss or damage whatsoever which may directly or indirectly result from any advice, opinion, information, representation, or omission, whether negligent or otherwise, contained in this publication.