What is Business Continuity?
Business continuity refers to the ability to continue essential business operations during and after a disaster occurs which negatively impacts your business in some way.
Given that figures suggest as many as 80% of businesses do not recover from a disaster event, either never getting back to their pre-disaster levels or completely failing to re-open, it is vital to give thought to how your business would react to an adverse event.
An adverse event could be anything from suffering a fire, flood, supply chain failure through to being the victim of cyber-crime or a timely example, a pandemic event such as COVID-19.
What is a business continuity plan?
A business continuity plan effectively steps out the processes and procedures that will be undertaken if disaster strikes. The aim of a business continuity plan is to enable you to approach the situation calmly and, hopefully, get the business back on its feet much faster.
The first steps in creating a business continuity plan will involve conducting a thorough risk assessment, identifying potential threats to business operations and analysing the impact of these threats on your business if they were to occur.
From here you can move to look at the steps that need to be taken during the situation, crisis management and into business recovery.
Business continuity planning templates
If you are new to business continuity planning or aren’t sure where to start, then rest assured there are a wide range of business continuity plan templates available online which can give you a helping hand.
Two good sources to refer to when looking to write your business continuity plan are The Business Continuity Institute (BCI) and ISO- International Organisation for Standardisation. They both provide resources, training and information relating to business continuity plans
COVID-19 and business continuity planning
COVID-19 is an example of an unexpected event which can occur and cause significant disruption to the way a business operates.
Back in March 2020, working patterns shifted in response to the pandemic, with large proportions of the workforce moving to remote home working. This marked a major change and disruption to normal business operations for large parts of the economy.
Whilst unlikely that many businesses had a business continuity plan in place which specifically addressed actions to take in the event of a pandemic; those businesses with a business continuity plan in place likely fared better in adjusting during this period. Even having key stakeholders defined and responsibilities assigned in advance of the event in a business continuity plan would likely have saved large amounts of time and confusion or uncertainty.
Cardinus highlight just how important business continuity planning has become for businesses in a post-pandemic world and that ‘survival can hinge on a single concept: preparation’. They also sout some key action’s businesses can take now to prepare for the next big event. Given the shock that COVID-19 has caused across the world and to businesses, it is likely that business continuity will experience renewed focus with businesses not wanting to find themselves unprepared or unable to react quickly in the future.
At Anthony Jones we focus on the areas of risk management with all of our clients and having a business continuity plan in place will form a large part of this for businesses of all sizes. We work in partnership with Cardinus, a global risk and safety partner, to support our focus in this area. Likewise, having the appropriate business insurance place to support you should the worst happen is also important. We can work with you in both areas, helping to understand your business and attitude to risk and business resilience and identify insurance covers which can offer protection. Get in touch with us on 020 8290 9080 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss any of your business insurance requirements.