HAVING a plan in place to help shape your response in the event of a business crisis is essential and will give you the direction and confidence to manage what needs to be done. 

A crisis could be anything from a failure of your computer system to a large-scale incident you are caught up in such as flooding or fire.  It could also include wider-spread disruption like a flu pandemic or fuel shortage.

When shaping any plan simplicity is key. In the inevitable confusion and chaos of a crisis you need to be able to make sense of your situation and reassure staff and clients that you are in control and ready to respond. Things you may want to include are:

 Pre-prepared key messages and statements which can be adapted if necessary. These will reassure staff and clients that you are dealing with the disruption and will soon be back to business-as-usual. They will also be helpful in presenting a positive image to the media should they be interested.

 Contact details for your most important clients or key staff, both in and out of office hours.  One of the most urgent things you will need to do is keep your staff and clients updated on what’s going on.

 An idea of which parts of your work are the most important to resume as soon as possible, and which can wait a few days or weeks.

 Alternative ways you could do these key elements of your work, such as working remotely or from a different site, or using different suppliers.

 Details of what equipment and documents you would need to access as soon as possible.

As investments go, taking a little time to ensure you have plans in place to deal with the aftermath of an emergency or other disruption is money and time wisely spent.  To find out more visit www.hertsdirect.org/businesscontinuity.