Business continuity plans
Could your business make it through a crisis? Incidents such as severe weather, staff absence, failure of a key supplier, fires, floods, malicious damage and many other potential incidents can cause a business significant problems and prevent it from carrying out its usual operations.
A business continuity plan can help to prevent operational interruptions to your organisation and enable it to return quickly to a state of ’business as usual’. Once it has been prepared the business continuity plan must be tested and exercised.
How to write a plan
If you need to develop a continuity plan for your business it is not hard. You can write one yourself just by applying the following advice:
- risk assessment - start by looking at the Thames Valley Community Risk register and consider any local risks associated with your geographic location
- impact analysis - conduct an impact analysis to highlight the key areas that you need to focus on
minimise any impacts - consider risk mitigation using the 4 Ts:
- Terminate - can you terminate the business activity?
- Treat - can you reduce the risk?
- Transfer - can you insure against the risk, or outsource the aspect of the business?
- Tolerate - continue with the business activity and prepare a plan to minimise any impact to it
- train your staff - your plan is only as good as those staff that have been trained to use it
- test your plan - testing your plan is good practice - check phone numbers within the plan regularly as these change often - conduct at least one annual test on the highest risk areas of your business
Each member of the local resilience forum has a business continuity plan, and makes preparations based on Business Continuity Institute guidance.
The following website may also be useful: