Business Continuity Planning – Why you should have a Plan.
What would you do if you arrived at work one morning and your premises had been destroyed by fire?
Or what if a staff member was seriously injured, either whilst at the workplace or after hours ?
Do you know what the loss of a major supplier or customer, or loss of Intellectual Property and critical data through computer file corruption, could do to your business?
What about a cyber attack? Do you know how that would impact your business, or how best to recover from it? Do you have a plan in place to continue business with minimal disruption?
If you answered no to any of the questions above, then chances are you don’t have a Business Continuity Plan in place to call upon, to guide you through the steps for continuity of your business in the event of a disaster.
Every business, no matter the size or type of operation, needs to plan for business continuity following a disaster or major event. If you have no plan in place to address disasters when they occur, you are running the risk of seriously disrupting the operation, reputation and financial position of your business.
Business Continuity Management (BCM) is defined as “an holistic management process that identifies potential impacts that threaten an organisation and provides a framework for building resilience and the capability for an effective response, which safeguards the interests of its key stakeholders, reputation, brand and value creating activities” (source – Business Continuity Institute c/- www.continuitycoach.com ).
But what does that mean for you? A business continuity plan essentially helps you, as the business owner, to identify in a step by step process, what your risk exposures are in the business and how to best address these exposures. This may be through the assistance of insurance or risk reduction through other means, such as transferring the risk onto a third party.
Whilst having insurance protection such as Business Interruption insurance, assists with the financial losses caused by the disruption to the business, a Business Continuity Plan works hand in hand to help assist the business recover quicker following a disaster, by following a predetermined and carefully thought out plan. The stress and pressure on a business owner following a disaster can be immense, and having a Business Continuity Plan in place, helps the owner to focus on what steps to take to move forward with recovery.
Professor Allan Manning from the LMI Group, an expert in claims management and business continuity is a strong advocate for developing a Business Continuity Plan.
“When it is an uninsured disruption to the business, a Business Continuity Plan (“BCP”) is even more important. My experience shows that the time taken to recover to a normal rate of business survival, is much higher with one of these plans,” he says.
“While I hope no business needs to activate their plan, the reality is that they do get called upon and the feedback from the business owners and my own observations, confirm they are well worth the effort.” 1
There are various providers that are able to assist in the drafting of a Business Continuity Plan. One company we suggest contacting is Continuity Coach, part of the LMI Group. www.continuitycoach.com. They provide an online facility to create the plans, which can be saved electronically on their website and accessed 24 hours a day online, should you need to call upon your documented plans.
As a customer of Lewis Insurance Services and Insurance Advisernet Australia, you will receive a preferential rate. Please contact one of our Advisers on (07) 3217 9015 for more information and to discuss further.
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1 SME businesses should consider developing a business continuity plan