A business continuity plan outlines the steps to take after a crisis event to get your business up and running as soon as possible. The quicker you can return to regular operations, the faster you can get cash flowing back into the business to fund staff wages and other overheads.
Use the Business Continuity Plan using the below template.
Completing the Business Continuity Plan
Step 1: Identify actions
Identify the actions required to get your business operating again. These could include:
- repair or replace damaged equipment and infrastructure
- relocate the business to an alternate location, or identify new sites to conduct visitor activities
- temporarily contract operations
- multi-skill staff
- upload computer systems with backed up data
- organise a range of services for staff, such as counselling and taking time off
- communicate with employees, customers and suppliers.
Refer to your risk management plan to identify what's essential in keeping your business operational. This will give you a strong indication of what you should focus on to get your business operating again. If you don't have a risk management plan, spend time reviewing the managing risk section.
Make checklists – this can help you work out the most important actions to take.
Step 2: Assign actions
For each action you've identified, decide who will be responsible for carrying out the task.
Step 3: Know your resources
Think about the resources you may have available. Organising your responses now will help you act fast in an emergency.
This might involve:
- Developing relationships with more than one business or supplier, so that if one is affected by an incident your business can continue as per usual.
- Having backup processes in place for key business documents and information. Consider keeping copies of invoices, customer records, bank account details and insurance policies that are vital to your business.
- Locating important information, such as those listed above, at a second site and updating it regularly.
- Planning for disruptions to electricity, gas, water, sewerage and telecommunications systems. Understand the backup systems and alternatives that are available.
- Preparing for broken machinery, damaged equipment and computer systems. Know who you can call on fix them by having their contact details at hand.
- Thinking about having another site you could operate your business from.
Step 4: Rank your actions
Prioritise your actions from high, medium to low to determine which actions to take first and when to undertake them. This will assist you in being efficient and effective in an emergency.