Preparing Your Business

Emergencies can happen anywhere at any time. Even a small disruption such as a power cut can affect normal operation of an organisation. Regardless of the type or size of an organisation it is essential that day-to-day activities can continue.

Business Continuity Management (BCM) is a process that helps to manage the risks to the smooth running of an organisation and aims to ensure it can continue to operate during a disruption.

Risks could be from an external source (e.g. power outage, severe weather/ flooding) or from within an organisation (e.g. system failure, loss of key staff).

The purpose of BCM is to facilitate the recovery of key business activities within agreed timeframes. BCM is about thinking ahead, planning for any disruption and ensuring alternative arrangements are in place to enable an organisation to recover more quickly.

More information can be found on the website and the Civil Contingencies Secretariat in partnership with stakeholders have developed a toolkit to help the commercial and voluntary sector implement BCM.

Is your business prepared for the unexpected?

You will know as well as anyone that running a business can be unpredictable. You never know what’s round the corner.

  • Have you thought how you would cope if there was a fire at your premises?
  • Would important work be lost if you experienced a lengthy power cut?
  • What would happen if half of your workforce went down with flu over several weeks?

Experience shows that organisations with business continuity arrangements in place are more likely to stay in business and recover quickly in the event of an emergency than those who do not.

There are some simple steps that you could take to increase the chances of your business surviving a disruption.

Business Continuity Plan

A Business Continuity Plan could help your business prepare and recover more quickly. A plan sets out the clear roles and responsibilities to enable staff to manage during a disruption. It ensures you have arrangements in place to enable key business activities to continue in the most difficult circumstances.
Power and water supplies were compromised during the county’s floods in July 2007. Many businesses realised they didn’t have Business Continuity Plans in place.

Benefits of a Business Continuity Plan

  • Helps you maintain ‘business as usual’
  • Reduces the potential for financial loss
  • Helps you maintain your good reputation
  • Builds staff confidence
  • Avoids bad publicity
  • Makes good business sense

BCM Advice

Gloucestershire Local Authorities are working in partnership to promote Business Continuity Management (BCM). A summary leaflet about BCM is available from the related documents section.
The Gloucestershire Local Authority Business Continuity Forum has also developed a template as a basic guide to assist your organisation produce a BCM Plan. The template is available in the related documents section..

Please be aware that the template is for information and guidance only. It is not intended to replace detailed guidance and planning specific to your business. This template is only one way to approach BCM. More detailed advice for business continuity professionals can be found at the Business Continuity Institute website

Developing a plan doesn’t have to be complicated. The Government’s Business Emergency Resilience Group has developed a ’10 minute plan’ (found in the related documents section) designed to help small and medium sized businesses.

Developing a plan doesn’t have to be complicated. The ‘Prince’s Responsible Business Network’ Business Emergency Resilience Group has developed a ’10 minute plan’ (found in the related documents section) designed to help small and medium sized businesses.

A really useful booklet called ‘Expecting the unexpected’ can be found here.

Western Power have created Helping-your-business-prepare-for-a-power-cut’ booklet.