SMEs Lack Business Continuity Plans

Business Continuity Management

Almost half of small firms have no business continuity plan or only have a very rough plan in place, the British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA) has revealed.

Research by BIBA found that 45% of small businesses don’t have a continuity plan or only a rough version. It also highlighted that 80% of businesses that suffer a major incident close down within 18 months.

BIBA has called on the Government to ensure that all businesses have continuity plans in place in case of major incidents, such as flooding, severe weather conditions, a terrorist attack or a pandemic such as swine flu.

“We are not calling for more regulation, we just want the Government to encourage local councils to provide advice to businesses in their area on continuity planning — some are more active than others on this,”

said BIBA’s technical services manager, Steve Foulsham.

“Businesses need to stand back and review their operation and put in place a series of simple measures that will help them to continue trading through a major disaster,” he added. “Having a plan is important to give confidence to their customers and suppliers to provide the right messages that they can continue to operate despite an event which may otherwise have seriously affected the operation.”

The Business Continuity Forum’s chairman, Russell Price, said it was to firms’ commercial advantage to make sure they had proper plans in place.

“When bidding for tenders, being able to show customers that you have policies to deliver your service and to do the work promised whatever the circumstances, can mean that you win the contract over a competitor,” he said.

Price said that the Business Continuity Forum’s own research suggested that four out five firms don’t have continuity plans.

“There are a number of different reasons why they don’t. These can include a lack of awareness, because continuity is an emerging discipline and some people need to be persuaded that it’s important.

“Some people also say they haven’t got the time or the money, but firms can end up having to use up much more time and money clearing up after an incident than investing in proper measures ahead of one.”

A Department for Business, Innovation and Skills spokesperson said that the Government would be meeting to discuss BIBA’s proposals.

For more information read our article on Business Continuity Management..

Business Continuity Management

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