What are common business continuity strategies?
While each business will have its own ways of preparing for disaster, this is a list to help you understand what you should consider when putting together a business continuity plan:
Business continuity strategies for HR crises
If your business comes under the stress of some HR problems, you should consider these options:
- Key members.
Identify which members of staff are key to running of your business and make sure others are trained to be able to cover for these key members.
- Underlying skills.
Learn what skills your staff have that you are not using. This may give you an idea of who is in the best place to cover another role in an emergency.
- Who is under the most risk?
Asses which employees are exposed to the most risk in the workplace. Perhaps you have a member of staff that is disabled or maybe an employee who has a history of ill-health.
- Liability insurance.
Make sure you have the correct level of employers’ liability insurance. According to GOV.UK your business can be fined £2,500 every day if you are not properly insured.
Make sure your succession planning is in order and clear, in case a key member of staff leaves suddenly.
- Third party support.
See if you could you use any third-party support (such as agencies) to cover functions in the interim.
Business continuity strategies for problems affecting premises
If your business suffers from a problem with its premises, you should consider these options:
- Working from home.
Are key individuals able to work easily from home in the event of your site being compromised? If not, is there another site they could work from. Some companies offer office space in case of emergency and self-storage facilities could also double as places of work. Remember, home insurance often does not cover business items.
Look for alternative sources of machinery and equipment that you may be able to rent if something can’t be removed or has been damaged in the office.
If neither of these options are viable, it may be worthwhile seeing if there are any companies that you could use to outsource some of your functions for a short space of time.
Business continuity strategies for problems with supplies and/or stock
If your business suffers from a problem with its supplies and/or stock, you should consider these options:
- Alternative location/s.
Could you store additional stock/supplies in alternative locations? This way it’s highly unlikely that all your stock/supplies can be lost all at the same time. This could be a home, a garage or a storage facility etc.
- Specialist storage facilities.
Specialist storage facilities like Flexispace are often ideal as they should be:
- More secure than other options.
- In a safe geographical area, so not at risk from flooding.
- Insured to store your property.
- Able to help you transport bulky items.
See what we can do for you here.
Business continuity strategies for IT and telecoms crises
How would you contact your customers if your telephone and/or IT system went down?
If you are struggling with telephone issues, your first step is to simply revert to emails.
Next, you should notify your customers/clients by posting a message on your website, as this is where they’ll search to see if there are any issues with your business if they cannot contact you. It’s also worth speaking with your website’s developer/s and asking them to upload a message on your site if you cannot.
- Back Ups.
Your website should be backed up in more than one location so you can easily switch servers if you experience problems.
- Social Media.
Your next port of call should be social media. This is another place where your customers/clients will look to find updates on your business.
Strategies to cope with data loss or equipment failure
If your business suffers from a problem with data recovery or storage, you should consider these options:
- Keep External back-ups.
While the cloud is great, you should also be making external back-ups of all your company data. This data should be held off-site at a secure location. As security is vital, it may be that simply storing it at home is not enough. With certain data, it may be that you are legally required to store back-ups in a secure location.
- Keep Old equipment in case of emergency.
Never throw away old equipment if it still works. It could come in use one day when you need it the most. Flexispace routinely deals with customers who need to store equipment they are not using right now, but which may be necessary for a crisis.
- Use a secure offsite location to store documents.
If you have any documentation or data files stored, it should be in a secure and fire/flood proof location.
- Insist on 24hour security.
If you are holding any information about your customers or clients, where you store it needs to be 100% secure. This is true if it is a computer drive or hard copy files. Preferably there should be around the clock security of the premises.
What to do if your business has problems with its supply chain?
If your business suffers from a problem with its supply chain, you should consider these options:
- Other suppliers.
If your main supplier incurs difficulties, it may be a sensible idea to research other suppliers who are also able to provide you with what you need.
- Supplier’s BCP.
You have a Business Continuity Plan and so should they. It’s a good idea to ask them what they would do if something went wrong to give you peace of mind.
If you need help with any risk assessment, these nearby companies could help,
Adler And Allan – http://www.adlerandallan.co.uk/consultancy/
Enzygo – http://www.enzygo.com/contact-us/
Flood Risk Assessment –http://www.floodrisk.co.uk/about.htm