You need to consider the potential risks to your business. During an incident, could your organisation still provide goods and services to your customers? For example, what if:
- you couldn't gain access to your premises because of flooding or a fire?
- key members of staff were ill or unable to get to work?
- a major supplier went out of business or important pieces of equipment failed?
- there was a loss of electrical power or problems with road transport or the fuel supply?
- you had an IT systems failure?
Even relatively small disruptions can have serious consequences. It can affect both cash flow and your reputation if it's not managed properly. There are five straightforward practical steps you can take to lessen the impact on your business and get back to normality.
Step 1 Identify what your business is about and what the priorities are
Step 2 Identify what you need to continue your core business. Staff and premises will probably be key. What about IT and suppliers?
Step 3 Identify what could be done to reduce the likelihood and impact of your business being disrupted
Step 4 Identify those who would be involved in dealing with the disruption. They are the ones who will make sure there's less of an impact on your business
Step 5 You now have information for your business continuity plan! Write down steps 1-4, keep your plan up to date and test that it works
Get in touch! We provide free advice on business continuity to businesses and voluntary organisations. Contact the Emergency Resilience Team via the contact options below if you are interested.
Could your business help your community be ready?
If an incident has caused disruption to your business, it is likely it is also affecting your community. Have a think about how your business could help to support the wider community. See our page ‘Ready Communities’ for more information on how you could help.
It is also worth thinking about how you can benefit from connecting with the wider community. You could:
- build a loyal customer base, who know they can rely on you in times of need
- strengthen your relationship with staff who live locally
- generate positive word of mouth for your business, by providing services during difficult times. You may have helped get things back to normal
- develop partnerships with other forward-thinking organisations, who may be future customers or partners
- be affected less if the surrounding community is ready for the impacts of incidents
If people recognise that your business has helped their community, they are more likely to support you during an incident.
Resources for businesses and organisations
See the My Business pages on Ready Scotland for more advice on business continuity planning. This includes protecting your reputation and how you can support your community.
There is also guidance on Business Resilience available on Ready Scotland.
You can also visit the British Insurance Brokers' Association website for advice on flood insurance.