In this volatile and unpredictable world we, businesses need to be ready for the unexpected.

Your key priority will always be safety and security. This includes not just your employees, but those around you (Community) and those affected by your business (Customers, Suppliers, Family, Environment…)

Most, if not all, businesses have an obligation to continue servicing customer needs. Failing to meet that obligation can, and does have disastrous consequences.

There are some steps that can be taken to make your business ready for the events that may cause your business to be interrupted or stopped and to lessen their impact.

Preplanning to Maintain Business

Things to do and questions to ask.

  1. Understand the risks that the business is exposed to. Some risks you may be able to remove, others you may be able to mitigate down to lessen impact. Other risks may be harder or even impossible to remove or mitigate. The more you understand risk the more you understand there impacts to your business.
  2. Take time to ensure a good understanding of impacts. Ultimately if a risk unfolds you will be dealing with its impact. Remember to think holistically about what impacts actually are. For example : a regional flood may have consequences at a site level… but it may have devastating consequences on local infrastructure, emergency and civil response. Without these, your business cannot safely respond or start to recover.
  3. What do we need to keep the business running? – What things need to be in place for your business to function? Is it, people, infrastructure, supply chain, logistics, facilities…Detailing these will help you understand what you need to protect and the impact of them becoming ‘unavailable’.
  4. How prepared are we NOW?  Do we have mitigations wherever reasonable possible? What is in else may be in place already? What is our legal/statutory obligation?
  5. Planning. Business Continuity Plans, Emergency Response Plans, , IT Disaster Plans, Evacuation Plans.... Building these sorts of documents is a very useful process for any business. It lets you better understand the process you use, their criticality and how they may be reinstated. Importantly they can help guide those responding to a crisis event.

Planning to maintain your business during any interruption is a Multi-disciplinary function. The input of all elements and functions of the business are needed to ensure any plan is usable and complete.