Business Continuity Plan

Business Continuity Plan – Is Your Business Ready ?

With dramatic scenes at Supermarkets across Australia (toilet paper, paracetamol tablets and panic buying), the Corona Virus covid-19 pandemic spreading around the world has the potential to impact hundreds of millions of people.

Italy and parts of South Korea and China have been locked down.  Many other countries and continents are following suit.

Major cities across the globe have come to a standstill.

Schools and public events from Sports to Entertainment and more are being closed, postponed and cancelled.

The travel industry in particular – including airlines, passenger cruise ships, hotels and restaurants – are starting to take a big hit to their bottom lines.  This also includes businesses who support the Travel industry.

The economic effects of this may potentially be felt for years as it too spreads to other industries, much like covid-19.

As a Small to Medium Business Owner, have you given much (any) thought to your BCP – Business Continuity Plan ?

Recent and regular fires and floods here in Australia – and now a global pandemic such as the Corona Virus – have unfortunately meant that Business need to not only plan for, but actually practice their BCP’s.

 

What is a BCP – Business Continuity Plan ?

 

A BCP is a written document that actually spells out what happens to your business in the unlikely event of a disaster.

It answers all of the “what if we can’t….” questions applicable to your business.

The word “disaster” can mean different things to different businesses: perhaps fire, or flood, or loss of access to your physical office for a period of time, or key personnel being unable to work, or key systems or processes not being available for a multitude of potential reasons.

A BCP ensures that no one really has to think too much if and when it needs to be acted upon and ensures that your Business can continue to function in the event of a “disaster”.

We need to give some very real consideration to keeping our businesses running in unusual circumstances over the coming weeks and months.

 

Top 7 Things to Consider for your Business Continuity Plan.

 

1. Physical Location – where do you and your staff go if you do not have access to your regular Business premises ?  Given the quarantining and lock down situations around the world, working from home is likely to be one probable and likely option.

2. Computer Systems 1 – who has access to what systems ?  If you cannot be at your regular desk, using your regular computer, can you still access the necessary software, applications, documents, files, financial data and information you need to keep your business running ?

3. Computer Systems 2 – does everyone have a computer at home that they can use ?  Can they take their laptops home from work ?  Do you have backups on removable hard drives or in cloud storage locations of your key data, including your financial data, client data, supplier data, staff data, etc.

4. Physical files, books, documents, information – do you or your staff need to have some physical documents at their finger tips ?  Where is the little book that you keep in a secret bottom drawer in which you have written all of your key login ids and passwords ?

5. Communication – how will you communicate with your staff, your clients, your customers, your buyers and suppliers if you cannot be at your regular physical location ?  Can you forward your main office phone number to your mobile, or to a phone app on your or your teams laptops ?

6. Stock Control and Inventory Management – what happens if you cannot access your warehouse or factory ?  What happens if your suppliers cannot access their warehouse or factory ?  How much “stock on hand” should you have at any one time ?  How much “stock on hand” should you be prepared to have if you can see some potential major events on the horizon ?  Do you ramp up production “just in case” or immediately cease all production ?

7. Finances – do you have funds (and insurance) immediately available to cover unexpected downtime ?  Payroll, suppliers and bills: costs will keep coming in.  Do you have some kind of emergency stash under your mattress at home, or perhaps a flexible line of credit or overdraft arrangement with your bank ?

 

Like most things in life and in business, the best time to plant a tree was 1, 2, 5, 10 or more years ago.

The second best time was yesterday…..and the third best time is today – NOT tomorrow.

A Business Continuity Plan that has been planned, considered, thought out and practiced will make things so much easier in the event of unforeseen and potentially disastrous business circumstances.

Obviously, the health and wellbeing of yourself and of your staff is the main priority, and with a BCP in place, you can begin to protect the health of your business too.

Given that there are potentially difficult times on the horizon, we at Acacia Consulting Services STRONGLY recommend that you spend some time immediately and create a Business Continuity Plan for you, your staff and your business.

 

We at Acacia are taking our own advice.

 

We have our own BCP.

We have tried and tested how we as a business will continue to function in the event of a disaster.

It has become apparent that as of writing and publishing this article, significant parts of Melbourne and indeed Australia as a whole may be “locked down”.

It is actually a quite realistic prediction that we in Australia, like Italy, may be required to self isolate for a period of time.

Business Continuity Plan – Is Your Business Ready

Irrespective of our physical location and that of our individual staff members, Acacia Consulting services WILL be functioning just as we always do.

Our staff, our systems, our processes (including our IT systems and our telephones) – and our Business Continuity Plan – are ready to continue to help, support and provide our Clients with everything that we normally do.

OK – so we may or may not physically attend your site, nor you attend ours, over the coming weeks and possibly even months….but we can do almost everything remotely via the internet.

Acacia Consulting Services is open for business !

If we can assist you with any of the above, or any other queries you may have with regard to your business operations, please Contact Us or call us on phone +61 3 8560 5220 .

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