Wiltshire County Council Business Continuity Guide for Small Businesses
Emergency Planning Unit, Environmental Services Department Version 0.2 June 2006
BUSINESS CONTINUITY GUIDE FOR SMALL BUSINESSES
Organisations that have a business continuity capability are far more likely to survive the
effects of a major incident than those that don’t. Two major incidents in Manchester alone
serve to highlight this. The Manchester city centre bomb in 1996 had a devastating effect
whilst a tunnel fire, again in Manchester, left many businesses without any communications
for nearly a week.
Think about the effects on your customers and business if your building caught fire. What
might the effects be of another fuel crisis, a major utilities failure such as loss of power or the
effects of severe weather conditions including floods? What if your neighbours’ building
suffered a major fire that resulted in you having no access to your offices for days, possibly
weeks? All of these events could have an impact on the survival of your business. If you’re
unable to satisfy your customers’ needs then how confident are you that they will wait for you
to recover? Sympathy and loyalty will last for only so long. Being prepared is the name of the
game. Your plan needn’t be complicated and doesn’t have to cover every eventuality or
every business process, just those that are most critical.
Whether you are a large ‘corporate’ or an SME (Small to Medium Sized Enterprise) the ability
to respond swiftly and effectively to a major incident has never been more important.
A high percentage of businesses affected by a major incident either never re-open or close
within 18 months. It is essential that you have a Business Continuity Plan in place and your
employees are aware of it. A continuity plan fits in with your business so it need not take a lot
of time to complete. This guide should help you write your own