Business Continuity Plan – What is it and why is it important for your business?

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Business Continuity Plan

Business continuity is a proactive plan to avoid and mitigate risks associated with the disruption of operations. It helps you to identify and reduce risks where possible, prepare your business for risks that you cannot control and response and recover if an incident or crisis occurs. The plan details the steps to be taken before, during and after an event to maintain the financial viability of your business.

 

What are the benefits of a plan?

  • Many small businesses struggle to reopen after a disaster. Planning greatly improves the likelihood that your business will survive
  • It’s a plus for potential buyers and investors — it shows you’ve thought about other scenarios than simply business-as-usual. It gives your staff confidence, especially if you get them involved in planning.
  • It helps you spot good opportunities for your business now.
  • It could help you negotiate lower insurance premiums — the more resilient you are, the more likely insurers will consider you a lower risk.

 

 

What’s in a business continuity plan?

Your business continuity plan is usually a part of your business plan and should contain all of the information you need to get your business running again after an incident or crisis.

The size and complexity of your business continuity plan will depend on your business. It will typically include:

  • a risk management plan with a business impact analysis
  • an incident response plan, with details of when to use the plan, the incident response team, communication during and after an incident and a contact list
  • a recovery plan.
Type of plan Purpose of plan
Risk management plan Identifies your critical business activities. It assesses the risks to your business and strategies to minimise the impacts they could have.
Business impact analysis Identifies the activities of your business that are key to its survival, also known as critical business activities.
Incident response plan Contains all the information you will need to respond immediately before and after an incident or crisis.
Recovery plan Outlines the steps you will need to take to get your business running again after an incident or crisis.

Suggested guides and templates

If you are looking for additional resources, guides or templates have a look at the ones listed below:

 Create or update your business continuity plan (Business.gov.au)

 How to prepare an emergency management Plan (Business.gov.au)

 10 Tools to support your accounting practice’s business continuity planning (Xero Blog) 

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