Business continuity


  1. Overview
  2. Developing a business continuity plan


80% of businesses (without a business continuity plan) that are hit by a major incident either never re-open or close within 18 months.

Almost 1 in 5 businesses suffer disruption every year.

What would happen if your business, organisation or association was involved in an emergency or disaster?

Every business is at risk of disruption from a variety of threats, which can include fire, flood, loss of power or even loss of staff.

Business continuity provides a planned response - combined with effective measures to reduce interruption and minimise losses.

Without effective business planning, a natural or man-made disaster or an internal or external service disruption could result in:

  • A complete failure to your business
  • Loss of reputation and/or loss of customers
  • Financial, legal and regulatory penalties
  • Human resource issues
  • An impact on insurance premiums

Developing a business continuity plan

There are five key stages that make up the business continuity planning cycle.

1. Analyse your business

Make a list of the critical services in priority order and consider where you may be vulnerable. The process will determine:

  • What does your business produce?
  • What key staff and systems are necessary for the delivery of that service?

2. Assess the risks

How likely is an identified risk to occur? How will it affect your business?

  • What can go wrong?
  • How will it affect delivery of your service?

3. Develop your strategy

Your strategy will determine:

  • How can you reduce the risks
  • How you recover from disruptive incidents

4. Develop your plan

A simple generic plan will provide:

  • A list of actions to enable you to continue your services

5. Rehearse your plan

  • Test the plan to identify problems