Have you ever considered a continuity plan for your business in case of disaster? There are many things that can disrupt a business these don’t just include the physical structure of the business but can include key personnel – what would happen if they were to get sick? Having a well-executed practical plan in place can mean the difference between surviving a disaster and your business going under. Did you know that around 70-80% of businesses without a business continuity plan fail within 18 months of a disaster?
When a disaster strikes it is human nature for people to go into panic mode. Ensuring you have a continuity plan in place for your business can help you avoid the stress and panic that is associated with a disaster. There are Business Interruption insurance policy plans available to business owners, some policies will cover you for loss of gross profit, loss of gross rental and increased costs of working e.g. costs to relocate and costs of advertising of the temporary location. It is recommended that this insurance is something that you consider. We are able to assist in getting this insurance set up for you and your business.
It is recommended that your records are backed-up frequently and stored properly. It is important to ensure back up equipment is working properly and a copy is stored offsite. Saving important documents to the cloud so they can be accessed anywhere at any time is another precaution to consider. In some cases if your business fails to maintain and safeguard accurate records, you may still be held liable in the event of a disaster. These documents should include important phone numbers, email addresses, major clients, contractors, suppliers and employee contact details. It is amazing how many of us rely on phones and computers to store this information.
It is critical to identify what your business requires to stay operational – this can be anything from core business activities through to the resources needed to support these activities in order to retain your customers while your business is closed for repairs.
Many business owners never think that a disaster will happen to them but it can be something that is overlooked even when looking for a commercial building to start up your business. Is the business surrounded by bush land? Is it in a high risk fire area? Or is it on a floodplain? What evacuation routes are available? What if you, as a business owner were sick for an extended period of time? Things to consider for inclusion in a continuity plan for your business are; where are you going to operate from, where will you store equipment and supplies and who would temporarily take over the running of your business. It may be smart to keep a log of qualified contractors that are available to repair your commercial building.
Each premise will have evacuation plans in place for emergencies, it is important that you train you employees on these plans and how to execute them properly. When getting your emergency supplies together you will need to consider back-up sources of power and communication systems. It would be advised that you have written communication available of who you would like to temporarily run your business in the unlikely event that you were to get sick.
Creating a solid communication strategy will allow your clients to contact you and will keep them updated on what is happening e.g. repairs of building. There are so many different communication platforms e.g. mail merge, company’s social media channels and phone or email. By creating a solid communication strategy it allows your clients and yourself to still operate as normally as possible and it also shows that you care about your clients by informing them with the appropriate information. The more people that you can reach, the better.
Remember to evaluate your plan regularly as situations and employees change. It also advised that you do practice run throughs of your emergency plans with your employees and update them on a regular basis with changes made to your continuity plan.
By developing a continuity plan for your business you are saving yourself the loss of potential income and highly important documentation. This plan will also allow the business owner to have complete piece of mind if a disaster was to occur.
If you would like assistance in preparing an appropriate continuity plan for your business, please contact Grange Business Partners today.