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The pandemic proves all business need a continuity plan

The COVID-19 pandemic has been the biggest business continuity challenge of our lifetime.

From dealing with lockdowns and home working to ensuring premises are secure, staff are supported, and that plans for careful re-opening proceed smoothly, there have been so many difficult tasks along the way and so many disruptions to business.

The Office for National Statistics says that in January 2021:

  • 34% of business’s workforce was working remotely instead of at their normal workplace.

  • The proportion of the workforce on furlough leave rose to 17% in January 2021 (14% in December 2020).

  • 15% of businesses had no or low confidence their business would survive the next three months.

Before the pandemic, just 30% of small businesses and 54% of medium-sized enterprises had a business continuity plan.

The widespread disruption we’ve seen has certainly made many SME owners reconsider the value of these plans.

And although we’ve stopped using the word ‘unprecedented’ quite so much, the pandemic isn’t quite over yet.

That makes this year’s Business Continuity Institute’s Business Continuity Awareness Week which begins on May 17th more relevant than ever.

It’s also apt that this year’s theme is going back to basics with “Business Continuity Starts With You”.

The BCI says: “The pandemic and its consequent disruptions have shed a light (once again!) on how important it is for businesses, of any size and in any industry sector, to have business continuity plans in place.

“BCI research has also showed that organisations with business continuity plans in place were able to respond to the pandemic much more effectively compared to those without business continuity measures in place.”

The BCI stresses that business continuity is not just a ‘plan’. It’s a process that should involve everyone in an organisation.

So, it’s time for your business to ensure it has a plan in place to deal with any future disruption.

How do you draw up a business continuity plan?

  1. Outline all staff and assets such as computers, buildings, vehicles, and other infrastructure.

  2. Outline the potential threats facing your business or organisation, such as cyber attacks, fire at your premises, or thefts.

  3. Plan out possible solutions which could help you ensure you continue doing business if there is disruption to it. Will staff be able to work from home? Are all your files backed up in the cloud if computers are destroyed?

  4. Draw up your IT disaster recovery plan to ensure you can recover data and keep information secure when the worst happens.

One of the most important takeaways from this year’s BCAW is that everyone must be clear about your plans to ensure they can be implemented, and you need to communicate effectively with all staff.

If you’d like further advice on creating a robust business continuity plan, call us on 029 2070 3328 or email us on

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