What would you do if your business was flooded, or ravaged by fire destroying equipment, vehicles, computers and furniture? Would you be able to continue working while your office, factory or farm was repaired or restored?

What if you were injured in an accident? Could your staff continue without you?

What if your internet went down and couldn't be repaired for several days? Could you run your business without it?

Disasters and disruptions can cause expensive disturbances to a small business, so the quicker you can get back to work, the less it will cost. Being prepared with a business continuity plan can give you peace of mind if the worst should happen and your business is faced with a disruption of any kind, large or small.

What is a business continuity plan?

A business continuity plan can be as simple as a comprehensive insurance policy, a list of emergency numbers and important documents stored in a safe place.

Alternatively, it can be very comprehensive ensuring full back-up of all documentation stored off-site, communications and marketing plans, and alternative production and supply options sourced and ready to go at minimal notice.

To help small business owners avoid or limit damage from a disaster or disruption, we have created a business continuity plan template and a guide to using it, to help you develop a plan specific to managing disruption to your business.

Steps to developing a business continuity plan

Our business continuity plan template and guide follows the following eight steps:

  1. Identify your risks
  2. List your business activities
  3. Document your staff contacts and their roles
  4. Create a key stakeholder contact list
  5. Identify alternative business locations
  6. List your insurance coverage
  7. Develop a communications plan
  8. complete the emergency preparedness checklist

It's a fact of life that things can and will go wrong. Being prepared for all contingencies is the basis of good business planning.

For more information

See our information on risk management or contact our free business advisory service to help you identify the risks in your business and prepare a risk management plan for dealing with unexpected events.

You can also access other useful business templates, tools and guides.

Legal and risk
11 December 2020