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Business Continuity

Just imagine...you arrive at your place of work one morning only to find you are not allowed into the building...

How many organisations have thought about how their operation would survive in the event of a natural disaster like fire or flood? What about the consequences of a major transport dispute or telecommunications failure? If the worst does happen and delivery of critical services is interrupted, whatever the impact, some hard decisions will have to be made and made quickly.

Building Fire

In these uncertain times, it makes sense to plan and prepare your business for the unexpected. Developing a Business Continuity Plan will help you to manage your risks to ensure that, at all times, your organisation can continue operating to at least a minimum level. This will enable you to continue operating during and beyond a crisis.

Damaged Buiding

There are 3 good reasons why YOU should have a plan

  • 80% of businesses affected by a major incident close within 18 months.
  • 90% of businesses that lose data from a disaster are forced to shut within 2 yrs.
  • 58% of UK organisations were disrupted by September 11th, 1 in 8 was seriously affected.

Who is this advice for?

This advice is relevant to all Owners, Managers and Employees of small to medium sized businesses in the area covered by Bridgend County Borough.

During normal day to day challenges of business, your staff may already be working to near capacity. It may seem excessive to prepare a plan for the unexpected, but consider how your business would operate if something happened to disrupt it today...
Leaflet - is your business prepared

Damaged Office

 

What is Business Continuity Management?

Business Continuity Management is a process that can be applied to any business, small or large, that helps to manage the risks that threaten its survival. The objective is to identify hazards that may affect critical functions or activities and to ensure that these can be reduced or responded to in an effective way.

It provides a framework for improving your organisation's resilience to interruption and facilitates the recovery of key services while maintaining the ability to meet requirements placed upon the business.
Business Continuity Presentation

Know your business

In order to develop a Business Continuity Plan you need to have a thorough understanding of your business. This involves knowing the critical functions of your business, the effect of those functions being disrupted and the priority for recovery of those functions. This process is known as the Business Impact Analysis.

Assess the Risks

Risk is the chance of something happening that will impact on your business. This is normally considered in terms of impact and likelihood of a hazard affecting your business. Knowing your risks will enable you to prioritise the risk reduction activities.

You can deal with risks in a number of ways -

  • Accept the risk and 'live with it'
  • Accept the risk but 'manage it'
  • Accept the risk but develop plans to deal with it
  • Take measures to reduce the risk

Examples of Risks to businesses

THREATS

VULNERABILITY

BUSINESS IMPACT

Computer viruses

Do you regularly update your software virus protection?

What might happen: You lose client records & pass the virus onto your customers. This wastes time, money and damages your reputation as a reliable business.

Disruption of supply chain

Do you check whether your critical suppliers have their own continuity plans in place?

What might happen: A critical supplier becomes unable to provide you with vital services. You lose 2 weeks' business as a result.

What should you include in your Business Continuity Plan

Your Plan should include information on your critical services, personnel and recovery times. Critical Services are things like customer services, production processes, ordering supplies, payroll etc. In fact, any function that you need to keep your business up and running. It should also include instructions of what to do, and what not to do at the time of the crisis. Other useful information to include would be call-out details of staff, how to access key data, details of suppliers, alternative premises etc.

Ensure that your Plan is simple, easy to understand and robust. It must clearly define everyone's roles & responsibilities and be up to date - it may also be useful to make arrangements for dealing with people who may be affected but who are not employees of your company, (e.g. customers, clients, contractors and visitors.)
Business Continuity Plan

How long will it take to create a Business Continuity Plan?

This will depend entirely on the size and complexity of your business. Generally the smaller the business, the easier it should be to put together a simple set of arrangements of what to do. No-one will know your business as well as you - you are the expert in what you do and how you do it.

Remember -Business Continuity is an on-going process, your Plan will need to be tested, amended and updated regularly to ensure it is robust and effective. It is about thinking ahead to ensure that someone else's crisis doesn't become your disaster...

Useful websites for further information

Business Continuity Institute (www.thebci.org)

Business Link (www.businesslink.gov.uk)

Business Continuity Management toolkit

(The Civil Contingencies Secretariat has developed, in partnership with stakeholders, a business continuity toolkit to help the commercial and voluntary sector implement BCM.)

Department for Business, Innovation and Skills

Last Updated: 02/04/2014
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