Is your Business Prepared for the Unexpected?
Businesses, and their ability to keep trading in an emergency is critical to ensuring that essential functions of your business can carry on. Therefore, businesses should be aware of potential hazards (they can come from within or outside the organisation) that affect their ability to function.
'Business Continuity' is all about thinking ahead about what might affect your business, and planning to ensure your business can survive the emergency. Many businesses will already have plans to deal with sudden commercial risk. These may include events such as the failure of critical suppliers, an unexpected bad debt, industrial action or the discovery of a serious fault in a product or process.
Planning for the aftermath of major incident whether this be fire, flooding or even a terrorist incident is very similar.
For example, a major incident could have the following consequences:
- damage to your buildings
- loss of IT systems, records, communications and other facilities
- unavailability of staff because of disruption to transport or their unwillingness to travel
- loss of staff through death or injury
- adverse psychological effects on staff, including stress and demoralisation
- disruption to other organisations and businesses on which you may depend
- damage to reputation
- changes in the business demands placed on your organisation.
Experience shows that organisations with Business Continuity arrangements in place are more likely to stay in business, and recover quickly in the event of an emergency, than those who do not. There are simple steps that you can take to increase the chances of your business surviving a disruption.
Making a Business Continuity Plan
A Business Continuity Plan could help your business prepare and recover more quickly. A plan that sets out the clear roles and responsibilities supports staff to manage during difficult circumstances. Furthermore, a Business Continuity Plan:
- Helps you maintain 'business as usual'
- Reduces the potential for financial loss
- Helps you maintain your good reputation
- Builds staff confidence
- Avoids bad publicity
- Makes good business sense