Business continuity advice

Important questions you need to ask as a business owner

  • Would you know what to do if your staff couldn't get to work due to a closure of the transport network or severe weather?
  • Where would your business operate from if your premises were inaccessible as a result of a fire or flood?
  • Could you operate your business if your computer equipment was stolen or damaged?

Business continuity involves thinking ahead and identifying potential threats. This will ensure your business can identify areas to prioritise during an incident and survive if it is disrupted.

This will help your business by reducing disruption to the services it provides, while promoting continuous improvements.

The Business Continuity Institute (BCI) website contains useful features for organisations including:

Why is business continuity important?

  1. Experience shows that businesses are far more likely to survive a disaster if they have thought about it in advance, and have a plan in place.
  2. Banks, investors, insurers, customers and suppliers will look at a company more favourably if a business continuity plan is in place.
  3. Business continuity plans build employee confidence. Employees will appreciate the fact that the business is doing all it can to protect their safety and place of work.
  4. In the end, business continuity is about responsible management. It makes a business a safer place to work and contributes to financial stability.

A more thorough account and guidance about business continuity can be found via this download: Expecting the Unexpected on the website.

Do I need a Business Continuity Plan?

Any size emergency or incident could affect the day-to-day running of your business. Your business might not be the cause of (or directly affected by) the emergency but it may experience the knock-on effects.

For example: a key supplier goes bust and cannot supply you with the key products/service you rely on.

According to the London Chamber of Commerce, 90% of businesses that lack a 'robust and verifiable' business continuity plan go out of business within two years of a major disruptive incident.

Whatever type of business you are, continuity management can help you plan for disruption.

To practice the steps you will need to take to implement Business Continuity Management into your organisation please use this toolkit.

How to develop a Business Continuity Plan

The risk to your company can be considerably reduced by taking the time to develop a simple Business Continuity Plan and keeping it somewhere other than your place of business.

There are many resources available to assist in developing a Business Continuity Plan. Depending on the type and size of your business you will need to consider making arrangements for different aspects of your business.