Could your business survive a crisis?
- 80% of businesses that suffer a major disaster fold within three years.
- 40% of businesses that suffer critical IT failure close within one year.
- Every year, one in five businesses faces a major disruption of service.
No business is immune to a crisis but small and medium sized organisations may not have the resources or flexibility of larger companies.
A major incident can happen day or night, during weekends and holidays. You may not be able to prevent them and you know that the emergency services will deal with the cause and initial effects of many disasters. Think, though, how would your business cope in the case of:
- power cut
- key staff illness
- IT failure
- a lottery syndicate win
- disruption of fuel supplies
- restricted access to your premises
- disaster that affect suppliers
- disasters that affect customers
A Business Continuity Plan will help you to anticipate those crises that could affect you and to plan for them. Businesses with continuity plans are far more likely to survive a disaster. Investors, insurers, customers and suppliers prefer to deal with businesses that have continuity plans. Business continuity plans build employee confidence and business confidence.
Ten top continuity tips
- Plan for the effects of an incident not the cause. You probably won't be able to control the cause but you will be able to control your response to it.
- Make a business continuity plan.
- Test your continuity plan. Make sure that all those involved understand it.
- Back up data regularly and keep copies in a secure place. Ensure that your data can be restored in an IT system other than your own.
- Make copies of important paper documents and keep them in water proof, fire resistant storage.
- Keep an up-to-date list of contact details for staff, customers and suppliers, somewhere secure and off-site.
- Check your insurance. Know what it covers and keep copies of policies off-site.
- Make arrangements for a temporary business base.
- Make an inventory of your businesses equipment, material, products and any other assets. This will make it easier to identify losses and gaps in key resources after an incident. Keep a copy of an up-to-date inventory off-site.
- Keep an emergency pack that includes:
- your continuity and recovery plan
- key telephone numbers
- first aid kit
- spare keys
- cash and a credit card
- some business stationery