The Growth Series

Why it’s important to review your business continuity plan

A business continuity plan can give you confidence and certainty if you’re faced with an unexpected disaster or disruption.

If a crisis happens, you’ll know what steps to take to ensure your business can continue operating and stay on a strong footing.

But as your business evolves, your business continuity plan needs to evolve too, or else it may not be fit for purpose if and when the time comes that you actually need it.

Why do I need to update my business continuity plan?

There are countless changes that can happen in and around an organisation. For example:

  • Personnel leaving and joining your organisation
  • Corporate changes such as a merger or takeover
  • Changes to your business proposition, such as the launch of a new product or service, or the opening of an office in a new location
  • Regulatory changes that affect your business, such as the new Consumer Duty
  • Changes in customer needs and requirements

Of course, some changes can be very minor on their own. But they can cumulatively add up to very big changes.

That can, in turn, mean the business continuity plan you drew up several years ago no longer reflects your organisation as it stands today.

So if any of these developments happen, it’s time to update your business continuity plan accordingly.

Ask yourself key questions such as:

  • Are the right people named on your plan?
  • Is each person’s role clearly defined?
  • Are the tech recovery requirements listed in your plan relevant today?
  • Are the people assigned certain tasks and responsibilities the best individuals for the job?
  • Has each person been given the right training, either at all or in the last year?
  • Do you have up-to-date contact details for staff, clients and suppliers?

By making a point of reviewing your business continuity plan in response to any developments at your organisation, you can be confident that if a disaster happens tomorrow, you’re ready and that you can continue functioning throughout the disruption.

Once you’ve revised your business continuity plan, schedule in time to test it, perhaps every six or 12 months, so you can get a better understanding of how it can realistically be applied, and whether there are any gaps in your strategy.

Many company bosses make the mistake of sitting back and being complacent once they’ve made a business continuity plan.

But that’s the worst approach you can take, as the environment around you and the dangers you face will change all the time.

The steps you must take to respond to these shifting sands must therefore change accordingly.

Your business continuity plan is not set in stone. It’s a live, evolving document that must be kept up-to-date, so it’s there for you when you need it.

Learn more: Get Your Business Future Ready

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