Preparing your business
Get suitable insurance
Make sure you have suitable insurance cover before an emergency happens.
The Association of British Insurers (ABI) has useful information on choosing the right insurance for your business.
What are the hazards and threats that could potentially disrupt your business?
Organisational risks include:
Loss of Information and communication technology (ICT)
Loss of premises (fire, data loss, power loss)
Loss of data (ICT outage)
Flooding - visit at our flooding pages for more information about preparing for flooding
Loss of staff (flu pandemic, severe weather, traffic incidents)
Loss of external dependencies (fuel, electricity, telecommunications, water, partner, supplier)
What is the likelihood that such events could happen and what would the impact be on your business?
Create your business continuity plan with these five stages
The first step towards developing a Business Continuity Plan is a really good look at what your business does and what resources you need to do it.
Business impact analysis template
Use our helpful template (Excel document format)and guide below to create a Business Impact Analysis and a Critical Requirements Analysis
This template can help your organisation identify its critical functions (and their dependencies) that must be planned for during a period of disruption.
The template is separated into 10 areas.
The below table outlines the areas and what you need to include in each section:
Design your plan
Once you have understood your business and its vulnerabilities you need to look at some ways to protect yourself. Your plan could include the following:
Out of hours contact details for staff, customers and suppliers
Prepare a communications plan - who will you contact in an emergency and what will you say
Document procedures - prepare 'how-to guides' so staff can follow steps to complete each other's activities
Agreed relocation options - if you can't access your premises, where else can you go
Remote access to ICT / cloud-based technology - can you access your computer network from different locations
Secure offsite data storage - back up your computer systems and store back up tapes in fireproof cabinets in another location
Alternative suppliers - where will you get your equipment if a supplier stops trading
Download this checklist to assist you with your business continuity planning (Word document format): Be Ready business continuity checklist
Implement your plan
Once you have worked out what you need to do the next step is to do it. You will need to work out what is affordable and practical. Bear in mind that some things will be very straightforward to implement, whereas others may take longer to put in place.
Train your staff
Do all your staff know what the business continuity plan is? Do they know what actions they would take in a business continuity incident?
Validate your plans and train your staff
It is all well and good having plans, but how do you know they work? The best way to do this is to test them. This will also help to make sure that your staff understands their roles within the plans.