A Business Continuity Plan (BCP) is an essential part of any organisation’s response planning.
It sets out how the business will operate following disruption and how it expects to return to ‘business as usual’ in the quickest possible time afterwards.
Disruptions to business can be a result of natural disaster such as earthquake, flood and bush fire, an electrical blackout or societal hazards such as criminal activity or infrastructure failure. Even greater threats to business may include national and international events such as an outbreak of Pandemic Influenza.
Why Businesses Should Prepare
Every business should know how they would manage an emergency situation.
By identifying the assets and processes that are critical to the business in advance, the Business Continuity Plan will present all the steps that staff are expected to follow in the aftermath of an incident, in order to maintain essential operations, continue trading and return to ‘business as usual’ as soon as possible.
Having a plan is also reassuring to employees, customers and stakeholders as it gives them confidence that businesses are well organised and able to withstand unforeseen disruptions.
Benefits of Business Continuity Planning
Business continuity planning minimises disruption to a business from unexpected events or disasters. It provides staff with knowledge of their responsibilities in order for them to respond to the events following an agreed procedure. This ensures business-critical systems are operational within the shortest possible time.
Effective business continuity planning demonstrates businesses are managing risks and can secure lower insurance premiums. Through careful planning, customers’ needs can be met and an organisation can protect its public image and reputation.
Resources and downloads
- Visit the Emergency and Management Recovery section of business.gov.au for plan templates, guides and checklists to help you prepare for, respond to and recover from emergency situations.
- Visit the Business Continuity Institute for business continuity planning webinars; designed for owners of small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs) to help plan for unexpected disruptions to your business.