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Business continuity and resilience toolkit

The toolkit has three steps to build better business resilience.

Assess your disruption risks

  • Identify the internal and external risks that could interrupt or negatively affect your business
  • Prioritise these risks based on likelihood of happening and the impact they would have

Create a resilience plan

  • Build a plan of actions to take before, during, and after a crisis to keep your employees safe, customers and suppliers informed, and your business running

Assemble a team and set a review cadence

  • Create a team to keep your resilience plan updated and ensuring it goes into action in the event of a crisis
  • Schedule regular plan reviews and drills to keep prepared

1. Assess your disruption risks

Identify your risks

The framework below highlights example risks across different categories. Remember, every business is different and the list below is not exhaustive – you might have different categories and risks in your industry.

Prioritise your focus

Some risks are more or less likely than others, and the impact on your business might be more or less severe. Use this matrix to prioritise the most important disruption risks:

  • Impact: how badly will this affect my business?
  • Likelihood: what is the probability of this risk actually happening?

Assess your disruption risks example

Grant is a coffee shop owner in London. He has three full-time baristas and also works in the shop himself. Business has been successful, and he recently began supplying wholesale coffee to local businesses and shops.

In the wake of the COVID crisis, Grant used the business continuity and resilience toolkit to find out how to be prepared for future disruptions.

Assess your disruption risks: template

Capture your business risks in the template and matrix below using the guide above.

2. Create a resilience plan

A resilience plan should define the considerations and actions you would take in the event of a business interruption. The framework below looks at key steps before, during, and after an incident.

Before

  • Review your insurance coverage
  • Maintain digital copies of all important documents and ensure remote access to data is possible
  • Keep an updated list of contact information for employees, suppliers, and other key people
  • Have a plan to shut and secure physical premises and inventory
  • Try to diversify your supply chain’s geographic footprint and have backup suppliers
  • Set up digital banking and remote working capabilities
  • Keep an emergency kit stocked and accessible

During

  • Make sure your employees are safe and have access to the latest safety information
  • Document/ photograph any damage or issues as they arise
  • Communicate regular updates to employees, suppliers, and other key people
  • Find ways to continue operating if safe to do so (e.g., remote work, digital sales, etc.)

After

  • When it is safe to do so, reopen your physical premises and inspect for any issues
  • Communicate a timeline for return to business to employees, suppliers, and other key people
  • Write a report that details the impact on your business and any lessons learned
  • File insurance claims if necessary
  • Re-stock your emergency kit if supplies were used

Create a resilience plan: template

Capture your resilience plan in the template below, using examples from the guide as needed.

3. Assemble a team and set a review cadence

Form your team

  • Team are responsible for owning and updating the business continuity plan
  • Act as the key points of contact in the event of a business disruption
  • Each member should have clear responsibilities to execute; for example: sending out a company-wide email communication, or contacting suppliers
  • For larger organisations, your team should include members from different parts of your organisation (e.g., HR, finance, operations, procurement, etc.)

Schedule reviews and drills

  • Set a schedule for the resilience team to review the business continuity plan (e.g., quarterly, bi-annually)
  • Schedule tests/ drills; for example: a weekly fire drill, or a monthly test of IT and physical security systems

Assemble a team and set a review cadence: template

Identify your team members and review cadence details in the template below.

Download the PDF

Here’s a downloadable version of the toolkit. You can use this copy to fill out the three templates. (PDF, 311 kB)

We (NatWest Group plc) can't accept responsibility for any decisions or actions you take based on this article. It’s for information only and not meant to offer specific advice. And although we think it’s reliable, we haven’t independently checked all the information in it.  You also shouldn’t copy the article anywhere without our consent. All views and forecasts in it are ours and can change.

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