Creating a business continuity plan

To ensure staff and customers remain confident in your reputation, all organisations should have a business continuity plan to enable them to function effectively in the case of an unplanned emergency.

Business continuity is a planning process which is put in place to manage the risks and ensure as much stability as possible in the event of disruption. Effective business continuity may also help in securing business insurance.

Therefore, business continuity plans help to anticipate events so you can prepare for or prevent them happening, and have a strategy for recovery.

An incident, large or small, natural, accidental or deliberate, can cause major disruption to your business. This may result in a loss of income, customers, reputation, lead to legal or regulatory penalties, or even cause you to lose your business altogether.

Once you have acknowledged the possible disruption, you also need to consider the worst case scenarios and how they might affect you. Consider the most extreme outcomes that this may have on your company. Planning what can go wrong costs very little and does not have to be time consuming. Plus, by doing this, you will be able to provide your business with more stability and resilience for the future.

Why are business continuity plans useful?

Business continuity plans are useful because they allow you to prepare for the unexpected, manage risks and ensure your business can remain stable. If you prepare, then so can your staff, allowing them to know their roles in an emergency and business can keep running. It’s about maintaining normalcy.

More importantly, it does not just help maintain your business, but can also allow it to grow by providing opportunities to increase your revenue.

By identifying and acting on any opportunities before an issue arises, you could potentially find better contracts and deals before your competitors do. Investors will also be reassured that you have contingency plans and have trust in your business management.

If you are expanding your business, you might also want to get better insurance coverage. By having a continuity plan, it has been found that you will be entitled to additional types of insurance, opening up new markets. Insurance firms also offer discounts on premiums if a client has a reliable continuity plan.

If you would like help to create your continuity plan, please contact York & North Yorkshire Growth Hub today.

How local authorities can help

Local Authorities have a statutory duty under the Civil Contingencies Act 2004 to provide free advice and assistance with regards to business continuity for small and medium enterprises, and voluntary organisations. Using their advisors in order to be better informed and prepared to deal with emergencies has a wide range of benefits and is good business practice.

North Yorkshire Council offer free advice for businesses, including support to develop a business continuity plan. Learn more about North Yorkshire Council’s support:

  • Advice and support in planning, developing and documenting systems to maintain business continuity.
  • Help to identify the critical activities and resources needed to continue business.
  • Help to assess the internal and external risks to these activities.
  • Help to identify and prioritise services necessary to recover from disruption, set objectives for recovery time and determine the resources needed to achieve your objectives.
  • Signpost you to relevant information/toolkits available.