Having a business continuity plan will help you to protect your business from the risks that it faces. These risks can occur within the business, or outside of it, and will have varying impacts on productivity or sales. Examples of risks are:
- ICT failure
- power cut; gas or electricity
- travel disruption; accident or bad weather
- telephony failure; communications
- malicious attack; vandalism or a virus
- supply chain failure
- financial loss
- epidemic, flu
The process involves prioritising these risks and then taking action to mitigate against the highest.
Risk of not having business continuity
The following statistics provide further evidence emphasising the necessity of a business continuity plan:
- 80% of businesses affected by a major incident close within 18 months
- 90% of businesses that lose their data are forced to shut within 2 years
Developing an effective plan
An effective business continuity plan will counteract the highest risks and should enable your business to recover quickly and efficiently.
The following action points should be considered when developing your business continuity plan:
- analyse your business: this involves listing the critical aspects of the businesses that must be protected
- assess the risks: consider the likelihood of the risks and be clear about the impacts they would have on your business
- prepare action plans: the plan should outline how you will restore critical areas of the business for each of the risks
- test your plan: train and involve employees in testing the plan against each of the risks. Then get everyone together and agree what needs to be improved. It is essential for the plan to be tested and reviewed regularly
For advice about business continuity planning please contact Cumbria Resilience.
Further information is available regarding emergency planning.