A business continuity plan is basically putting a procedure in place to deal with something that interrupts normal business.
Before we get down to the plan here are a few little facts that are crucial in understanding why Business Continuity Plans are so important;
- 48% of business owners do not have a business continuity plan in place
- 75% of companies without a business continuity plan in place fail within three years after facing disaster
- 93% of companies that lost their data centre for 10 days or more due to a disaster filed bankruptcy within a year of the disaster
- Companies that aren’t able to resume operations within 10 days of the disaster are highly unlikely to survive
- 25% of financial institutions have no business continuity plan
The business continuity plan is adaptable to all businesses; all you have to do is edit it to apply to your business, add all your personal details and company details and then save it ensuring you can always access a copy- in case of emergencies!
The plan below fits beautifully in one page providing you with a template that you can apply to your own business.
The Business Continuity Plan
Assess all the possible risks that your company could come under. These normally come under three categories;
- Work Place Incident (a floor, fire, building collapse- any incident that prevents you from using the place you work)
- Infrastructure Incident (loss of computer, telephone system, data, internet access, power)
- Staff Incident (loss of member(s) of staff from family emergency, injury, etc- can be temporary or permanent)
Create a continuity plan for each category, adapting the responses to the problems associated with that incident.
Within that category, you need to consider the actions that need to be taken to defuse the situation, the details required to implement that action and the responsible person who should deal with it.
PART ONE: Initial response. E.g. in a Work Place Incident:
|Evacuate the Building||Ensure all staff are out of the building and in a safe area||Office Manager|
|Call emergency services||If required call 999||Building Manager|
|Record details of injuries sustained||If any staff is injured, record their injuries and ensure they are receiving the help they need||Office Manager|
|Assess Impact||Meet with the team to assess the impact of the event and plan for the immediate future||Founder|
PART TWO: Short term continuity plan. E.g. in an Infrastructure Incident:
|Critical Activity||Details||Responsible Person|
|Phones||Staff to use personal mobiles; contact telephone provider to forward office lines until the problems fixed||Head Engineer to contact BT on 012345678912|
|Internet||Staff to work from home, if unable rent office space elsewhere until fixed||Head Engineer to contact BT on 012345678912|
|Mains Power||Staff to work from home, if unable rent office space elsewhere until fixed||Head Engineer to contact BT on 012345678912|
PART THREE- Recovery Phase– so more long term then step two.
For Example, in a Staff Incident:
|Respond to any long-term staff support needs||Dependent on the situation ensure that the staff member is treated in the best possible way allowing them to return to work when able.||Office Manager|
|Temporarily replace internally or externally the missing staff member to take over duties||Assess if current staff can take on other responsibilities and support whoever takes on the role.||Recruitment Officer|
|Review this continuity plan based on the experiences you have just had, constantly improving it.||Implement recommendations and gaps in the plan- ensure this new plan is accessible to all staff.||Office Manager and Founder|
Inventories are really important to have in case of emergencies- these should be physically and digitally available.
Recommended inventories– inventory of the company’s computer, technology, computer equipment, software, staff personal and contact details, workplace contact details (owner of the premises, insurance, external staff that work within the building that need to be informed), details of internet, power, phone providers, recovery locations, essential records.
Lucidica provides IT support for London businesses