My Business


If you own or are responsible for a business or organisation, have you considered the impacts from external emergencies?

If so, do you have a business continuity plan? Business continuity planning is just as important for small companies as it is for large corporations. Having a business continuity plan may make the difference between keeping and losing your business in the event of a disaster.

What is business continuity?

Business continuity is about making sure your business or organisation is prepared in the event of an emergency.

  • How would you continue to operate?
  • Do you provide a critical service to your customers?
  • Would it be 'business as usual'?

Having a tried and tested plan will help to ensure your business or organisation suffers the least possible disruption and ultimately continues to operate.

Why business continuity?

Without effective business continuity planning a natural or man-made disaster could result in: -

  • A complete failure of your business
  • Loss of income
  • Loss of reputation and/or loss of customers
  • Financial, Legal and Regulatory penalties
  • Human resources issues
  • An impact on insurance premiums

Some business risks you should plan for:

If you are unable to provide contracted services, have you considered what sort of penalties might be imposed?

Could your critical services continue during: -

  • A loss of power for 24 hours or even over a prolonged period?
  • How would your business function without computers or telecommunications for a day, a week or a month
  • Which of your critical services would be jeopardised if your building was evacuated for a week with all access denied? How about a month?
  • How many staff would be needed to continue to cover critical tasks and how would you accommodate them?
  • Have you an alternative building in which to work effectively? Is this sufficient? Can staff work from home?
  • What would happen if a quarter of your staff were absent because of an influenza pandemic?
  • How long can you manage without special software or stationery and how long would it take to replenish stocks?

Your plan should answer all the above questions, and others tailored to suit your business.

One of the duties included in the Civil Contingencies Act 2004 is to provide advice and assistance to businesses and voluntary organisations about business continuity management.  This duty however is only applicable to Local Authorities.  Therefore, although your local authority cannot prepare your plans for you (you know your business and critical processes best), it can offer general advice and assist by giving details of useful websites and further reading.