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27 July 2017: Business Continuity Checklist

Any emergency that means your employees may not be able to come to work, or your suppliers are unable to deliver essential inputs, or demand for your services halts, could severely impact or even mean the end of your business.

Whatever insurance protection you have in place, you will have to survive until a pay-out can be assessed, applied for and paid. During precarious and sometimes uncertain economic times, business continuity is not a luxury, it is a necessity.

So what are your plans if your business is hampered from trading by bad weather, a serious accident in an industrial plant or any unforeseen event disrupting its operations?

A continuity plan shows your employees, shareholders, customers and insurers that you are proactive. It improves your company’s performance and helps you allocate the right financial and human resources to keep your firm operational and trading during a serious disruption.

Here are the eight key components for your Business Continuity Plan:

  1. Assign the responsibility for emergency readiness to a team. Select a few managers/individuals to take charge of the project.
  2. Determine how your firm will maintain essential services in the event of an emergency. You may be forced to modify, reduce, or even eliminate some functions to keep the core business operating.
  3. Identify the number of staff and skills required to perform and maintain the essential services/functions. Identify special requirements necessary to perform the essential functions, like licences to operate equipment.
  4. Discuss what to do if you have to reduce, modify or eliminate essential services or functions.
  5. Prepare a plan for each essential function with action plans that include notification of  communication plan, staff relocation, alternate resources and don’t forget your suppliers.
  6. Review your plan to make sure that all issues have been addressed, and identify any areas in which you may need additional documentation.
  7. Present a draft of your Business Continuity Plan for review by your emergency readiness team, as they understand the overall corporate impact of an emergency.
  8. Test your plan works by performing trial runs. This will help you to improve it and make sure it is sound.

COBRA Network Members can talk to their own Strategic Account Manager for Business Continuity assistance.