managing risk

The Importance of a Business Resilience Plan

To understand the benefits of having a comprehensive Business Resilience Plan, look no further than the havoc COVID-19 caused – and continues to cause. If you’re thinking ‘I have a Business Continuity Plan, I’m good’, that’s understandable, as the two are often confused. However, a Business Resilience Plan and a Business Continuity Plan aren’t the same thing.

Consider the differences, get to know why it’s good to have both plans and check out some recent business resilience examples. Because if the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that you should always plan for the unexpected. 


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The difference between a business continuity and a resilience plan

The terms are often used interchangeably, but they’re very different. A Business Continuity Plan, sometimes known as a contingency plan, is designed to keep a business operational immediately after an unexpected event or crisis. A Business Resilience Plan is about making a business or company more robust and preparing the business and its people to withstand a disruptive event, whether anticipated or not.


What is Business Continuity Plan?

From the GIO Business continuity plan (BCP) 101 article:

‘A business continuity plan, or BCP, is a document or series of documents detailing how your business will keep operating after a disruptive event. Such events may include:

  • weather-related natural disaster
  • fire
  • water damage (burst pipe or running tap)
  • building access prevention (gas leak in the area) or;
  • a burglary.’ 


What is a Business Resilience Plan?

A Business Resilience Plan takes a more holistic approach to business disruption, focusing on long-term risk management. The plan aims to mitigate potential hazards with robust internal systems, processes and strategies. Taking all possible events into account, a resilience plan is designed to ensure a business can adapt to change and remain operational while weathering a range of technical, financial or even environmental storms.


What are the benefits of business resilience?


Consumer confidence

Successfully managing disruptions and staying operational after an event can help build trust with customers by showing the business is ready to handle anything.


Employee confidence

Give employees peace of mind knowing what will happen – and how they’ll keep working – during and after an unexpected event.


Minimise the impact of business disruptions

A comprehensive resilience plan helps a business prepare for, withstand and ultimately recover from business interruptions.


Improved risk management

While conducting a Business Impact Analysis, a business can identify and manage risks that may have gone unnoticed, therefore reducing the chance of unforeseen disruptions.


Increased adaptability

Risk management also involves planning for the future flexibility and agility of a business. Emerging technology is a great example. A Business Resilience Plan can help prepare for big changes in technology – such as online shopping, moving into the Cloud and so on – as well as changing consumer demands and emerging risks.


Better stakeholder management

A resilience plan helps businesses better prepare to manage stakeholder expectations during times of disruption.


Reduce losses

Business disruptions can result in both businesses and their stakeholders losing money. Having a resilience plan may help reduce costs such as lost revenue – as well as other losses, such as a damaged reputation.


How to improve business resilience

  • Conduct a comprehensive risk assessment.
  • Create a Business Continuity Plan (BCP).
  • Ensure the risk assessment plan is kept up to date.
  • Regularly test your plans – and any back up plans. 
  • Train staff, including giving them clear roles and responsibilities.
  • Create a communication plan that includes stakeholders, customers and employees.


Business resilience examples

Examples of business resilience were everywhere during the first days, weeks and months of the pandemic. Restaurants and cafes switched to take-away only, office workers began working remotely and contact-free grocery deliveries became a popular way to shop.

Today, with the majority of the population immunised and COVID 19 somewhat managed, businesses continue to show their ongoing resilience. Some have moved their operations into the Cloud permanently, encouraging staff to keep working remotely or in a hybrid scenario. And you can still grab your favourite restaurant-quality meal to take away – or be home delivered.

Having a comprehensive Business Resilience Plan means you’re looking after your business, employees, stakeholders and customers during and after a disruptive event.

It’s just the same as looking after your business by having the right business insurance in place.


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