The threat of a virus outbreak : Business continuity planning

Business continuity plans protect and maintain critical assets, processes and resources whilst identifying operational efficiencies to maintain or improve profitability.

A sound business continuity plan ensures that critical resources and activities are protected such that, in the event of a disaster or unplanned disruption, the business has inbuilt resilience and the best possible chance of recovery.

As with other processes within your business, it’s also important to review your business continuity plan to make sure it is up to date, reliable and will work, especially when key changes occur within your business or in the wider community – for example if, in the case of a threat from virus or terrorism, the Government issues a new warning. This is when you may need to add new or important information to the plan.

An effective business continuity plan comprises of three key elements:

1. An incident management plan – to deal with the emergency stabilisation and recovery actions immediately following an incident

2. A general business continuity plan – to provide an overall risk management framework for the company

3. Specific business unit resumption plans – to provide more relevant recovery actions for localised business operations.

Your business continuity plan documentation should be as brief and focussed as possible; nobody has time in a crisis to read an overly complex plan.  It should encompass recovery of all critical resources across the business and not merely recovery of the IT function.  And it should be a live document, subject to regular testing, maintenance and update.

Business continuity planning is a process that forces management to self-examine; to assess the worth of their resources and the impact their activities have on others in their business.  It can and should add tremendous value to your business.

Business continuity planning is a collective responsibility and it is essential that SMEs take the necessary steps to protect themselves accordingly.

Our business experts at Beavis Morgan work with many entrepreneurial businesses across a range of sectors, helping them set up and run their own businesses and guiding them through each stage of the process, whilst navigating the challenges and advising them in making the right decisions both now and for the future.

If you would like to find out more about how we can assist you and your business, contact Steve Govey or your usual Beavis Morgan Partner.