How a Business Continuity Plan (BCP) can help your business get back on its feet

In an increasingly uncertain world, having a Business Continuity Plan (BCP) has become more and more important.

Typically, it involves foreseeing whatever may be needed to continue business operations in the event of a crisis. That could mean a natural disaster that wipes out half your office, a major equipment failure, or criminal activity—anything from vandals to terrorists.

But maybe it’s as simple as having to relocate quickly when your rented office space gets sold and you need to find new digs in a hurry. Without a plan, you could lose customers to the better-prepared competition.

After the initial response and assessment, many businesses will require time to restore their premises to workable condition. If it’s a planned move, you may still have a period where your infrastructure is unavailable between your old and new sites.

Depending on the scale of the event, this restoration process could take days, or it could take years. In the meantime, the day to day work must continue if your business is to survive.

The US Department of Homeland Security encourages businesses to consider what essential resources will be needed. Some relocations may need all these:

  • Employees
  • Office space, furniture and equipment
  • Technology (computers, peripherals, communication equipment, software and data)
  • Vital records (electronic and hard copy)
  • Inventory including raw materials, finished goods and goods in production.
  • Utilities (power, natural gas, water, sewer, telephone, internet, wireless)
  • Third party services

Most successful businesses these days will already be maintaining customer data or other essential records in the Cloud, or on a VPN.

If your BCP includes an arrangement for reserved temporary office space, you can notify customers immediately of your new circumstance, and assure them of continued service.

Consider the resources available at the new temporary site. Does it have enough workstations? A secure internet connection? Physical security for your assets? The answers to many of these questions will depend on the disruptive event itself. But thinking ahead of all the possibilities will help you have a workable BCP in place.

Marketing and technology writer, Ian Linton, also suggests that a BCP should include budgeting for relocation, as well as allocating responsibility for managing the relocation.

You can also be ready with a comprehensive checklist of essential activities for the move.

Temporary relocation to facilities that are neither familiar to your staff nor purpose built to your needs will be disruptive, but your good planning can ease the pain.

As a normal part of risk management, it’s well worth the effort, and there are abundant resources on the web to help you.

Karstens has a range of flexible emergency office solutions in the Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Auckland CBDs to accommodate your staff if your office facilities are unavailable for an extended period. Please click here to learn more.