Business Continuity ; are you prepared for 2013?
Adverse weather conditions have hit many parts of the world throughout 2012; earthquakes in Indonesia, flooding in the UK and Hurricane Sandy in the US have all wreaked havoc on those at the epicentre, and also further afield.
News reports showing families stocking up on food, laying flood defences and leaving the area are in abundance at the time of a natural disaster, but businesses need to be prepared for these events too.
Loss of trade, damaged stock and insurers not paying out on claims are just some of many issues that face businesses in the aftermath of such events, but is there a way to limit the impact of similar events in the future?
Business continuity planning, also known as disaster recovery planning is the process of identifying the exposure a business has to internal and external risks (eg. loss of power through to natural disaster and beyond), and sets out the steps that need to be taken in order for the business to continue to operate under these adverse conditions.
Business is not a risk free venture, and it is important for every business owner to spend time evaluating the risks that may affect the business, the contingencies that need to be put in place to minimise the impact on business operation, and how to facilitate a return to ‘business as usual’ as soon after a crisis as possible.
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Where to start?
There are numerous examples of business continuity plans available online, and a quick Google search for ‘business continuity plan template’ will return roughly 224,000 results that you can use as a starting point.
A business continuity plan should be used as a reference guide to potential risks, the impact of these risks on the business and its critical functions, the actions required post risk and what resources are required to undertake these actions.
As we come to the end of 2012, and with planning for next on the mind of every business owner, the wide availability of business continuity plan templates means now is a perfect time to review your business continuity plan, ensuring it is relevant and understood by everyone in your business.