You will want your business to return to normal as quickly as possible after a serious disruption. This is known as maintaining business continuity.
A business continuity plan notes the possible risks your business might face and the actions needed to deal with them. Otherwise your business could:
- lose income for a lengthy period
- lose work to competitors
- have problems with suppliers
- see its reputation damaged
- lose staff
Creating your business continuity plan
An effective plan sets out ways in which you can carry on with your main business activities. It might involve moving to different premises or employees working from home.
- Identify the main activities of your business and the staff responsible for them.
- Identify the internal and external risks that could lead to a major disruption, such as the sudden failure of your computer network or extreme weather conditions.
- Assess the impact of these risks.
- Take steps to reduce the likelihood of these risks and their impact.
You will also need to consider:
- Any financial, legal or regulatory penalties if you can't provide a service that you're contracted to supply.
- How long your business could go without items it normally uses like specialist software or equipment.
- How you would cope with a major disruption - perhaps because of a lengthy power cut or damage to your premises.
Once you have drawn up the plan, train your staff so that they will know what to do. Review the plan regularly to make sure it's still effective.
You must have insurance cover to protect against loss and damage caused by criminal activities. If you can show that you take security issues seriously, your insurance company may offer you a discount on your premiums.