Twice this week I was reminded of the value of business continuity planning, once when I was doing some tidying out and came across a Business Continuity Plan for a company I used to work for and on Monday morning when one of my clients rang me in a panic.
Their phones were totally out as their local exchange was hit by lightening over the weekend. Thankfully within a few minutes we had Eircom divert all of their telephone lines into our Contact Centre and we were able to answer a couple of hundred calls for them and transfer them to the relevant contacts on their mobile phones before Eircom got their lines restored to their office later that day. As part of their BCP we store their staff contact details on our system and in the event of an emergency we act as their receptionist.
Most major firms have a BCP and a set of procedures on what action to take in many given emergency situations i.e. flooding; fire, power cuts, phone outage etc but I wonder how many small firms give any thought to it at all. What would you do in the morning if you arrived in work and your office was burnt to the ground, where would you start, hopefully you would have backups for your data, but where would locate yourself and your staff; where would you get computer equipment, how would you inform your key stakeholders – customers suppliers staff etc. how would customers contact you, where would you get replacement stock.
There are a myriad of actions you would need to take in order to keep your business alive and like all good business activity you should have a plan which details all of the actions required and who is going to take them.
In the words of that famous cork man Mr. Roy Keane “Failing to prepare Is preparing to fail”.
Take action now, download one of the many BCP templates form the internet and get the plan together and make sure that anybody who needs to , is aware it exists, has read it knows where it is located and has access to a copy. I am currently working on mine.