Jan 11 2013 by Cheryl McEvoy, Ayrshire Post
With the festive season now behind us, January is a time when many of us are making plans for the year ahead.
We’ve certainly been taking a hard look at our own business recently; developing and refining our business plan to make sure we’re fit for what will continue to be a challenging business environment for us and our clients.
As well as planning for the things that we want to happen, we’ve also been planning for the things we DON’T want to happen, by reviewing our Business Continuity Plan.
This contains the information we would need to continue our operations in adverse circumstances, such as loss of access to our premises.
We all have a tendency to look on the bright side or just hope for the best but it’s worth taking a little time to think about what you would do to stay in business if the worst were to happen.
Depending on your particular business this might be a fire at your premises, disruption to your supply chain, incapacity of a key employee or maybe a catastrophic loss of computer data.
Of course, we’re insured for a lot of these eventualities but that just provides a cheque some time after the event.
Although insurers and loss adjusters can provide assistance, they can’t work miracles. As an example, access to computer data is absolutely vital for many businesses these days. If you were to lose that data then you don’t want a cheque from your insurance company – you want your data.
Part of your Business Continuity Plan may therefore be to review your computer back-up procedures and have some understanding of how you are quickly going to load that data on to new equipment. For this you might also need details of any necessary software licences. There are lots of other simple things you can include in your plan, like having a list of employee, customer and supplier contact details or instructions on how you will forward your office telephone number to an alternative line.
Once you’ve got your plan together, make sure you keep copies of it off-site.
It’s no use compiling all the information you’ll need in the event of a disaster if you can’t access it when you need it.
Finally, put a date in your diary to review your plan.
Things change quickly these days and you might be surprised how much of the detail goes out of date in a relatively short period of time.
Having completed our plan we can continue to concentrate on the more positive aspects of developing the business. We’ve planned for the worst, but we’re still hoping for the best.