Planning for a business catastrophe is an absolutely essential part of any business. No matter how secure you think your business is, things can change at the drop of a hat, whether it’s something you suspected might happen or if it’s something completely unexpected. We’re here to help you ensure that you have a plan in place to help you protect your business should the worst happen.
What Should A Business Catastrophe Plan Cover?
Firstly, it would be useful to cover the main areas that a business catastrophe plan should cover. Every business is different, however, the main things you should be aiming to plan for are below.
- Firstly, there are physical disasters. This is anything that can do serious damage to your place of work or your stock, such as a flood or fire. This could include having a backup base of operations and knowing how quickly you are able to restock everything you lost, along with knowing you’ve got the funds to do that before you are able to claim your insurance.
- Next are malicious acts, such as burglary or vandalism, such as computers being stolen from your premises, staff acting out and damaging the reputation of the business or data theft.
- You also need to consider data-related disasters, as it’s vital that customers and stakeholders feel their data is safe. Things like having fantastic cyber security protection, and having plans if your IT system is down or vital data is deleted, are absolutely key.
There are also more potential risks out there which will be covered in our first step of conducting risk assessments. It’s important to remember that completing a risk assessment and then implementing some protection shouldn’t be a one-time thing, but as a business, you should constantly be identifying risks and doing everything you can to mitigate them. Working with trusted consultants is one way to make sure you’re on top of this if you don’t have people assigned to do this internally.
Conduct Risk Assessments
The first thing you should do is conduct risk assessments regularly. Whether you have someone trained internally to do this, or you have an experienced professional come in to conduct them for you, it’s absolutely essential. The areas you need to cover will be different for every business, for example, what a construction site needs to cover and what a solicitor needs to consider in a risk assessment are completely different. This is why it’s good to work with a risk assessor that has experience in your industry. Whether you need to manage more physical risks or risks within the market, identifying potential risks that could be mitigated is an important part of preparing for business catastrophes.
Have The Right Insurance
Now that you know what some of the risks are, you should work with an insurance broker in your industry to help protect your business against those risks. Every business is vastly different and so is the cover you will need, which is why you should work with an experienced broker to help ensure everything is covered. For example, if you work on a credit basis or export a lot, then working with a credit insurance broker to help get you the right export credit insurance cover at the right price is important. You may work with a reliable company you think you can trust, but you never know what’s around the corner. Other businesses will need to make sure that they have the right liability insurance, others will need key person insurance, others natural disaster insurance, so getting this right is key. Whilst this will take some initial investment, having the right insurance could seriously save your business one day.
Update Your Cyber Security
Cyber crimes are becoming increasingly common, and so you absolutely need to invest in fantastic IT security for your business. It can literally come down to your business surviving, as safeguarding your systems and customer data is essential to not only allow your business to function, but also to maintain trust with your customers. Working with cyber security experts is really important to get this right. They’ll be able to help you implement the right software across your business to protect everything and everyone, and when you have a good system or company you’re working with, they will also closely monitor any issues and quickly act if there are any cyber security risks present, as well as regularly backing up data to prevent losses.
Additionally, many cyber security companies will provide guidance and information for your team to ensure they’re trained to spot any cybersecurity red flags, like phishing emails. They may also provide a cyber security contact where your team can forward any emails they’re unsure about, just for that extra peace of mind. Investing in good cyber security could make or break your business, so this is an important part of protecting for and planning for a business catastrophe.