Business continuity means planning what you would do to keep your business going during a crisis. The crisis could be internal, for example having many of your staff off sick because of a flu pandemic. Or it could be external such as a power cut or flood affecting your premises. If you prepare yourself for possible risks, you can reduce the impact on your business.
The benefits of having a business continuity plan include:
- a clearer understanding of how your organisation works, and where it is vulnerable
- minimising the impact of a crisis on yourself, your contractors, suppliers and customers
- protecting the reputation of your business by being in control despite adverse circumstances
- reducing the cost of any disruption by having planned for how to manage it in advance
- the possibility of a reduction in your insurance premiums
How to prepare
A business continuity plan looks at the key parts of your business and how you would keep them going in a crisis. You might need to think about staff, suppliers, premises, equipment or data. Business continuity should help you react to any sort of disruptive event. However it is better to make your plans based on an assessment of the risks you actually face.
Before you start, you might want to read further information about business continuity and how to get it right.
- National Business Continuity Toolkit – How prepared are you?
- National Business Continuity leaflet – How prepared are you?
- Preparing for emergencies – quick guide to preparing yourself, your business and your community
- The Business Continuity Institute – an organisation promoting high standards of business continuity
- Continuity Central – news and information about business continuity
- Business Continuity Information for Businesses