Where to start
Business continuity planning begins by identifying the potential crises that could affect your business. These could include natural disasters, a major customer going out of business, loss or damage to stock or business premises, loss of key personnel, cyber attacks or loss of customer data and so on.
It is useful to grade these risks according to the likelihood that they could occur and the impact they would have on your business, staff and customers.
Once you have identified and categorised potential threats as low, medium or high risk in terms of likelihood and impact, you can then focus on how to minimise the risk of a crisis occurring and limiting the impact if it does occur.
For example, in a manufacturing scenario, your business continuity plan might require arrangements for alternative warehousing and distribution or assistance from third party manufacturers whereas in an owner-managed family business, the risks to consider might include the impact on the business and family if the owner was suddenly unavailable through serious illness or death. One way to mitigate this risk would be to have a well-thought through succession plan in place.
You will need to document your business processes and it is important that this documentation is well written, Keep in mind that the person who has to rely on the document to get your business back up and running might not be the person who created or documented a particular process.
It is also important that your plan is a living document as otherwise it is likely to be out of date when it’s most needed.
Other BCP advantages
Working with a wide variety of clients across many different business sectors North and South, PKF-FPM has found that as well as minimising the risk and impact of crises, business continuity planning has other important advantages. These include:
- Minimising losses
- Improving management’s understanding of business operations
- Highlighting risks and areas where improvements are needed
- Reassuring customers and investors
- Protecting reputation and brand
To find out more about business continuity planning and how PKF-FPM can help…