Ready businesses

Emergencies such as major storms, flooding, prolonged power outage, cyber attacks or even loss of a key supplier can all significantly impact businesses that are not prepared.  Without suitable continuity plans in place business operations can be severely disrupted. However resilient organisations are ones that can adapt quickly to unforeseen events, recover quickly from emergencies and thrive in changing environments. 

It is important that businesses:

  • Understand the risks they face
  • Prepare appropriate mitigations
  • Have a plan in place to be able to respond to an emergency, should they occur

Business continuity planning

A business continuity plan will help your business recovery if you find yourself impacted by an emergency. Creating a suitable plan involves thinking ahead about the likely crisis that may occur and making plans to ensure that the business can recover quickly and survive. It is a set of arrangements that enables people to manage at a time of crisis.

Business continuity planning sets in place emergency plans to help an organisation function and maintain delivery of services in case of any disruptive event. Businesses are far more likely to survive a disaster if they have thought about it in advance and planned accordingly.

Insurers, banks, investors, customers and suppliers, look favourably on companies with business continuity plans. Reduced premiums and better access to finance would give a business commercial advantage even before an event occurs.

Business continuity planning builds employee confidence on the fact that the business is doing well. It also drives operational efficiencies and adds competitive advantage. Rapid response to an emergency or crisis enhances the reputation of the business and builds customer confidence.

Considering your business risks

Before writing your plan, it is important to consider the likely risks associated with your business. This will allow you the opportunity to ensure all appropriate mitigations to minimise or negate the impact of any disruptive events are taken ahead of time. This may include:

Getting started on a business continuity plan

Once you have protected your business as far as possible you may wish to develop a business continuity plan. Our simple guide will walk you through the steps required to develop a business continuity plan. Use the template plan (available in two formats), save a copy to your computer before you start to fill it in and complete each section by following the steps. This can be tailored to suit the needs of your business.

Supporting your community

Local businesses are pivotal within their communities and can form a lifeline for many during an emergency. If a major incident has occurring which has significantly affected your local area you may wish to consider if your business is in a position to help the response and recovery efforts. What you are able to do and provide will depend on many factors, such as the nature of your business and how impacted you are personally. However, there may have been numerous examples of businesses supporting volunteer efforts or taking a flexible approach to their operations to allow for services to still be accessed during an emergency. For example, during a local outage a local shop owner resorted to paper-based system for recording transactions, offering cash payments.