Business Continuity

What is Business Continuity?

Business continuity can be defined as ensuring that you can operate your organisation in the event of an emergency. For example, if you lost access to your building for any reason, do you hold procedures and plans that would enable you to operate your business under reduced circumstances or from other premises? What parts of your business would you need first; e.g. office or shop, specific IT system, telephone lines, staff, stock, supplier? What and how would you communicate the situation to your employees, suppliers, customers?

Did you know?

  • Nearly 1 in 5 businesses suffer a major disruption every year (BCI);
  • 80% of businesses affected by a major incident close within 18 months (DTI Survey);
  • 58% of UK organisations were disrupted by the September 11th terrorist attacks. One in eight were seriously affected. (London Chamber of Commerce & Industry).

What is Business Continuity Management?

Business Continuity Management is a process that enables you to review your business as a whole; establishing what is important to running your organisation and identifying the most important risks to your key activities, staff, equipment, suppliers, premises, contractors, etc. This enables you to plan to avoid, reduce or mitigate risks to the important areas of running your business. It also asks you to consider the time-frames by which you must have certain parts or all of your business back up and running.

What type of incidents should I plan for?

  • Severe Weather – flooding, snow, storm damage.
  • Fire – few other situations have such potential to physically destroy a business.
  • Restricted access to premises – how would your business function if you could not access you workplace?
  • Loss of Utilities – loss of power or water could have serious consequences. What would you do if you suffered a loss of heat and light or couldn’t use IT or telecom systems or operate other key machinery or equipment?
  • Loss of staff – If any of your staff are central to running your business what would you do if they were incapacitated by illness?
  • Disruption to Fuel Supply – Could you operate your company vehicles? Could your employees get to work, how would your suppliers make deliveries to you?

These are just a few scenarios you can think about when starting to develop your Business Continuity Plan.

Where can I get help with business continuity?

The Emergency Planning Team have developed a wide variety of resources to help you and your business with business continuity arrangements. Please contact us for further information.