Ten top tips for business continuity

  1. Ten top tips for Business Continuity Plan for the effects of an incident, not the cause. At the time of a crisis what happens may well be more important than what caused it.
  2. Remember that prevention is better than cure.
  3. Test systems, exercise plans and rehearse the people involved on a regular basis. Maintain the plans - keep them up to date, build in a regular review of your plan.
  4. Back up data regularly and store copies off site in a secure place. Practice restoring the data in an IT system outside your own to ensure that it works.
  5. Ensure that important paper documents, such as contracts and employee information are protected. Make copies and use fire resistant and waterproof storage.
  6. Keep a list of contact details for your staff, customers and suppliers off-site so that you can contact them if you do not have access to your usual premises. Review regularly.
  7. Be clear about what your insurances cover and what they don't. Keep copies of the relevant policies off-site so that you know immediately what to do in event of an incident.
  8. Have an emergency pack which will include your business recovery plan, key telephone numbers, as well as a first aid kit, torch, megaphone, spare keys, cash, credit card, stationery, etc. 
  9. Make arrangements for a temporary base - you may not be able to operate out of your existing premises for weeks or even months. Remember, any temporary accommodation still has to comply with health and safety rules.
  10. Make an inventory of equipment, materials, products and any other assets to give you an overview of the business. This will make it easier to work out losses and identify gaps in core resources after an incident.