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Why your business needs a continuity plan

Why your business needs a continuity plan

When disaster strikes, it’s normally unforeseen and unplanned for. Which means your business is thrown into turmoil without warning; impacting your staff, systems, clients and revenue.

It can be a scary time for any business owner or manager. Everyone will look to you to keep your business afloat and collateral damage to a minimum.

Yet, so many businesses still don’t have a robust continuity plan in place.

Thankfully disasters don’t take place every day, but they’re not as uncommon as you may think.

Here’s a list of threat’s that can disrupt your business without warning:

Pandemics 

Unfortunately as we’ve all experienced, pandemics affect your business in multiple ways. They force your staff to work from home. Your supply chains can break down or come to a halt. Staff absences affect your performance and clients might even reduce their spend or worse still, go under.

Those businesses that had a well thought out continuity plan in place during the Covid pandemic suffered much less during this time. We saw it with our own business and with our clients who had these plans in place. The period of disruption was shorter, staff were well communicated with and had the ability to carry on with their jobs and reputation was protected.

Utility Outages 

Whether this is a water shut off, power disruption or phone and internet lines down – these essential services have huge impact on your operations. Again they can send staff home, affect your customer service and your staff productivity.

Cyber Security 

Cyber attacks are targeted at your technology, through your email and your devices. Common examples of attack include data theft, ransomware, distributed denial of service and SQL injections. Sometimes businesses can be infiltrated without even knowing. Cyber attacks are on the rise and it is a businesses responsibility to ensure their business is protected. Even down to staff training. The impact of a cyber attack ranges from infrastructure inefficiency to complete loss of access to your data. These types of attacks can have huge negative impacts on your reputation and sometimes are hard to be recovered from.

Natural Disasters

UK businesses are fortunate that natural disasters are far and few between, however we’re not entirely free of risk. Floods and storm damage are common place and these can leave disastrous consequences on our operations. However as we probably all rely on some form of international supply, we’re also at risk of our non UK suppliers experiencing natural disasters and this can impact our own supply chain.

If this has made you question your current business continuity plan, then the first step is to start creating one.

A business continuity plan provides a clear picture of each action you should take to mitigate and reduce risk, depending on the disaster you’ve experienced.

Key components of your Continuity Plan

Your continuity plan should take account of all business functions and processes. This includes your IT systems and data, your operations, personnel and public relations.

  • The first step is to identify, research and analyse your potential threats. Discuss these with your team and consider how each threat would impact your business.
  • It’s also important to decide who will be the emergency response leader when disaster strikes. Think about who can handle stressful situations and remain calm and logical?
  • Think about how you would communicate to your staff and customers during this uncertain time. How would you continue to meet customer expectations? Perhaps you’d need to hire more temporary staff to help.
  • Once you’ve created your plan, share it with key stakeholders and carry out trial runs to test your plans robustness. Identify any weaknesses and address them.
  • Finally, document everything!

If you have an IT Partner in place, they will be able to help you create this plan quite easily.

If you’d like to speak to our team about business continuity, we’ d love to help, simply get in touch on 01392 796 779 or email us.

 



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