Business continuity and crisis management

Minimise the potential impact of crises

Once you have identified the key risks your business faces, you need to take steps to protect your business functions against them.

Business premises

Good electrical and gas safety could help protect premises against fire. Installing fire and burglar alarms also makes sense.

Think what you would do in an emergency if your premises couldn't be used. For example, you might suggest an arrangement with another local business to share premises temporarily if a crisis affected either of you.

You may consider using a business continuity supplier, which can make alternative premises available at short notice. But this can be expensive.

Protecting your premises.


If you use vital pieces of equipment, you may want to cover them with maintenance plans guaranteeing a fast emergency call-out.

IT and communications

Installing anti-virus software, backing up data and ensuring the right maintenance agreements are in place can all help protect your IT systems. You might also consider paying an IT company to regularly back up your data offsite on a secure server.

Printing out copies of your customer database can be a good way of ensuring you can still contact customers if your IT system fails.

See IT risk management.


Try to ensure you're not dependent on a few staff for key skills by getting them to train other people.

Consider whether you could get temporary cover from a recruitment agency if illness left you without several key members of staff. And take health and safety seriously to reduce the risk of staff injuries.

Managing the welfare of people.


Document how each member of staff gets to work. Consider establishing a car sharing scheme or providing staff with transport to and from work. Encourage the use of public transport. Provide IT support systems to facilitate home working should the need arise.

Read workplace travel planning.

Consider stock piling mission critical supplies and materials. Create a list of alternative supplies should your main supplier be unable to deliver the goods and materials you require.

The Department of Energy and Climate Change has produced guidance for businesses on dealing with energy emergencies.


Insurance forms a central part of an effective risk-management strategy. See insure your business and assets and insure your business - people, life and health.