Once the contacts and documents for your continuity plan are in place, you’ll need to start thinking about an action plan or tasks that are required should your firm need to turn to this vault. This serves as your first response checklist and will include the immediate steps that need to be taken.
Examples of Continuity Action Steps
- Debrief with Key Executives
- Connect with Beneficiaries
- Alert Shareholders/Advisory Board/Board of Directors
- Contact Attorney
- Contact Accountant/Bank
- Contact Broker Dealer/Custodian
- Contact Key Clients
- Contact Key Vendors
- Contact Insurance Providers
From there, consider additional things that should be done. Examples include: contacting all clients, activating the Board of Directors, updating the website, and facilitating password access to your named individuals.
Prepare Communication Scripts
You may also want to prepare communication scripts ahead of time so your emergency contacts can easily and effortlessly share important information and news with those that matter. Having these scripts ahead of time will take the guesswork out of what to say and allows you to customize the exact message that you want conveyed.
- What message will be conveyed to employees?
- What message will be conveyed to clients?
- What message will be conveyed to vendors?
Comprehensive Planning Allows you to Lead Even When You're Unavailable
Systematically think through every step that should be taken to help your business weather any storm it could face. And while the skies are blue and cloud-free, ensure that your plan is as detailed as possible to eliminate or minimize any confusion should it need to be activated. You have a lot of scope to define how to operate upon an unforeseen event – make sure your planning is comprehensive enough to best honor your wishes.
Revisit Your Plan Annually and Communicate Often
Finally, doing all the hard work to pull this plan together won’t do any good if it’s not maintained and kept current. Reviewing this plan should become an annual business planning activity. Schedule time on your calendar every December or January to revisit and update the plan as needed.
Communicate with your emergency contacts often and thoroughly to help them understand any expectations and enable them to best execute a plan in the event you are not available or able. Surprises are not a good thing when it comes to the continuity of your business!