Why Every Business Needs a Business Continuity Plan

Keep your business successful with a Business Continuity Plan

You need a Business Continuity Plan (BCP) because bad things happen and they never happen on a good day. When disaster strikes (even a little one), you want to be following a plan not making a plan. Finding out that your broadband is going to be down all day is not the time to start thinking about alternative methods of accessing the internet.

How does a BCP help?

With a plan you minimise the impact of the issue and the time to recovery, because you don’t have to think under pressure. You can keep your business successful. And you won’t make a drama out of a crisis.

Seven steps to creating a BCP

  1. Understand your business
    1. Really understand every aspect of it. You probably can’t do this on your own, so pull in everyone who might know something you don’t.
  2. Identify the risks – what bad things could happen? E.g. Any member of staff could be hit by a bus / be ill / decide to take a world tour
    1. Brainstorm everything you can think of. Don’t stop to worry about how likely an earthquake in the south of England is, just add it to the list for now
    2. For each item add the impact it would have on your business if it did happen (High, Medium, Low) and the likelihood of it happening (again High, Medium, Low). So: Earthquake (H, VVL), PA leaving (H,M)
    3. Decide which risks you want to include in your plan – this is where you discount the earthquake
  3. Minimise the impact of each risk. What can you do now to reduce how much this event will hurt your business if it happens? E.g. if your PA leaving is a risk:
    1. Document their work procedures so that anyone can see how their job is done and you can train someone new more easily
    2. Use a CRM to document the contact you have with clients in one shared place
    3. Keep all documents in a shared place – not on individual PCs
  4. Decide what you will do if the bad thing happens. E.g.:
    1. How will you cover for short/medium/long-term absence?
    2. Where will you hire a replacement?
    3. Who will take over immediately to resolve urgent issues
  5. Prepare an action plan – write it all down, because you won’t remember it when you need to use it
  6. Tell everyone where the plan is – you might be the one who gets hit by the bus…
  7. Review the plan regularly to make sure it’s still relevant

Susie Collings helps businesses to run better – creating a good foundation for higher profit margins, loyal customers and staff, winning new business, easily adapting to change and growing sustainably.

If you want to build a robust framework and keep your business successful or you want to discuss any of the points raised, please call Susie on 0118 380 0545 or email info@exilia.co.uk

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