Making sure you have a plan for what to do in case of an emergency can be the difference between the success or failure of your business.
What is business continuity planning?
Put simply, business continuity is the work carried out and the plans put in place to make sure that the activities of your business can continue during an emergency and return to normal as soon as possible.
Business continuity is important for organisations of all sizes, however it is common for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to overlook this key part of protecting their business. Unfortunately, small businesses often struggle to recover after an emergency, and ultimately end up going out of business - even the simplest business continuity plan could help to prevent this from happening.
Plans will look at what you will do in the event of a variety of challenging situations such as inclement weather, loss of staff for example as a result of pandemic flu, loss of premises etc.
Why should I plan for business continuity?
As well as providing you and your staff with a strong foundation of knowing what to do when things start going wrong, business continuity plans also have other benefits. Having a plan shows your stakeholders, customers, suppliers, and insurers that you have considered the risks to your business and have developed a plan to help reduce those risks.
The 1996 Manchester bombing affected over 600 businesses, and within 6 months of the incident over 250 of these had gone out of business. The majority of these were small and medium enterprises.
What emergencies should I plan for?
The key events that all businesses should plan for are:
- disruption to staffing levels
- loss of access to your property (through fire, flood, etc)
- disruption to your power supply
- disruption to your water supply
- disruption to your telecoms.
Where should I start?
Once you understand the risk you can start to produce a plan. Nottingham City Council have produced a detailed guide, Preventing Disaster Ruining Your Business [5MB], which will support you in creating a business continuity plan.
If you would like any more advice or support please contact us.