Develop recovery strategies

You can develop and implement strategies that will help your business recover from an incident or crisis. Your recovery strategies should demonstrate a clear understanding of your business's recovery objectives and reflect what the business needs to continue operating. Prioritise critical business functions and record a recovery time for each. This process will highlight the actions you should list in your recovery plan.

The following are some strategies to consider when developing a recovery plan for your business.

Designate a recovery team

  • Nominate staff to be part of a recovery team, assign backups and ensure that all are aware of their roles and functions in the recovery process. Your recovery team could be similar to your incident response team.
  • Ensure that more than 1 person knows how to do a certain task and you don't risk losing essential skills or knowledge if something happens to one of your staff members.
  • Make sure your team can use manual processes in case your equipment or machinery is damaged.
  • If you deal with hazardous materials, special equipment, or in risky environments, you may need to provide training for your staff so they can do their jobs safely and respond after an incident. This will help you reduce the impact a crisis may have on your business and help you recover quicker.

Learn more about training your staff.

Review your emergency kit and contact lists

  • As part of your incident response plan you should have developed an emergency kit that includes key documents that will be essential for recovery. Make sure the emergency kit is stored safely off site in case your premises are unreachable in a crisis.
  • Put together contact lists of all people who may be affected by a crisis, including staff, key customers and suppliers and your insurance company. You may need to let your customers and suppliers know of alternative methods of contacting you or placing orders and what to expect from your business in the event of a lengthy outage.
  • Record contact details of people who can fix your equipment, machinery and systems if they are damaged.

Maintain external communications

Keep the lines of communication open with your customers, suppliers and other stakeholders such as business partners. Make sure that you have contact lists of all people who may be affected by the incident. Effective and timely communication will create and build the perception that your business is under control, that you know and understand what is happening, and that the situation will be resolved.

Identify alternative suppliers, facilities and equipment

  • Develop relationships with more than 1 supplier, so that if one is affected by an incident your business can continue as usual.
  • Establish a disaster recovery location where you and your staff can work off site, if necessary, and will be able to access critical backup systems, records and supplies. This may be a room or space at another business location or at a hotel or home.
  • Determine which assets (including documents) are essential for recovery and therefore require protection.
  • Be prepared for the possibility of broken or damaged equipment, machinery and systems. Know who can fix them and have their contact details at hand. Consider renting or borrowing equipment if possible. Find out who you can rent or borrow equipment from if yours is damaged or unreachable.
  • Factor in disruptions to electricity, gas, water, sewerage and telecommunications systems. Work out what backup systems or alternatives are available.

Learn more about finding the right suppliers and finding the right location for your business to help you recover from an incident.

Keep your business operating

  • Be prepared for cash flow emergencies. Keep enough cash on hand to handle immediate needs and consider setting up internet banking services.
  • Assess your processes to work out if you can reduce your operating costs.
  • Assess the impact of the crisis on your business and consider a range of business strategies to keep your business operating.
  • Consider doing business online as this may allow you to operate even if your premises are damaged.

Also consider...