Business continuity

More than 50% of companies who do not have a Business Continuity Plan and are hit by disaster go out of business within 12 months.

Below are a variety of disruptive events that can severely interrupt or devastate your business. It is important to assess each event in terms of the likelihood of it occurring and the potential impact it could have on your business.

  • Environmental disasters Tornado, strong winds, flood, heavy snow, freezing conditions, drought, minor earthquakes, electrical storms, fire, subsidence and landslides, environmental hazards, epidemic, contamination
  • Organised and deliberate disruption Acts of terrorism, sabotage, war, theft, arson, labour disputes, industrial action
  • Loss of utilities Loss or shortage of electricity, gas, water, petrol, oil, communications services, drainage, waste removal
  • Equipment or system failure Failure or internal power, air conditioning, production line, cooling plant, equipment (excluding IT hardware)
  • Serious information security incidents Cyber crime, loss of records or data, disclosure of sensitive information, IT system failure
  • Other emergency situations Workplace violence, public transport disruption, neighbourhood hazards, health and safety regulations, employee morale, negative publicity, mergers and acquisitions, legal problems

What should a Business Continuity Plan contain?

A business continuity plan will allow your organisation to maintain or recover the delivery of key products and services.

Items to include in your Business Continuity plan are:

  • Roles and Responsibilities – Command & Control structures
  • Invocation Procedures
  • Incident Checklist for key staff
  • First Stage response – clear instructions/checklists for the first hour or so
  • Following Stages - clear instructions/checklists that can wait after the first hour
  • Document Review – how often should the plan be revised?

You should also include specialist information for roles of other organisations, such as:

  • Landlord details – if you rent your business space
  • Neighbouring Business
  • Utility Companies
  • Your Insurance Company
  • Suppliers and Customers
  • Local Authority Emergency Planning Officer
  • Emergency Services

The Civil Contingencies Secretariat has developed a Business Continuity Management Toolkit in partnership with stakeholders to help the commercial and voluntary sector implement BCM.

Cyber security support for businesses

The National Cyber Security Centre (a part of QCHQ) have come up with a cyber security for small businesses guide that could save you time, money and even your business’ reputation. The guide can’t guarantee protection from all types of cyber attack, but taking five simple steps can significantly reduce the chances of your business becoming a victim of cyber crime.

Read and download the cyber security guide