Most SMEs are Unprepared for Business Interruption

New research by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has found that many businesses are unprepared for the disruption risks that they face from internal and external threats.

The data shows that 65% of smaller businesses and the self employed do not have any plan with how they would cope with potential disruption to their business operations or their supply chains.

The biggest risks to smaller businesses were customers who failed to pay (51%) followed by the loss of key members of staff (37%). The high risks identified also included the impact of cybercrime (17%), transport problems (15%) and severe weather (13%). Smaller businesses are the most vulnerable to such risks due to their size and lack of resources.

FSB wants more to be done by larger companies in supply chains to help smaller businesses with fewer resources to provide assistance with forward planning. Support channels backed by central Government and Local Authorities should also emphasise the need for smaller firms to have continuity plans in place as a routine measure.

It Won’t Happen to Me

Do you have a continuity plan for your business, or do you just think that it won’t happen to you? By implementing continuity plans, you can prepare for many of the sudden changes that can impact your business directly. One key step towards ensuring that your business is prepared for any supply chain difficulties is continuity planning. This includes identifying the most significant risks to your business’ commercial operations and creating a plan to mitigate those risks should any of them materialise.

As well as the risks listed above, you need to consider the likelihood of fire, flood and theft at your offices, even if you work from home. You might think that none of these issues will affect you, but you still need to assess the chances of them happening. For one of our clients whose office is close to a river that has flooded in the past, when we carried out an assessment of the risks, the continuity plan that we put together suggested keeping computer servers off the floor, to avoid flood damage. When a frozen pipe burst above the office last winter, water poured down the wall, bringing down part of the ceiling and ruining the floor. However, the water did not affect the servers, because they had already been raised off the floor, as part of the continuity plan.

FSB has a lot of influence over larger businesses and Government, but this does not mean that you should leave it to someone else to protect your business from external factors. Take the time to think about the risks that might affect your business and how you would deal with those risks. If they do arise, you will be in a much better position to deal with them, if you have already planned for them.

Do you have a continuity plan for your business? If not, please don’t leave it to chance or luck. Contact us now to talk about what you need to do to create a simple continuity plan and put it in place. You can speak to Jonathan Lane on 07503 891 331, Pippa Hutchinson on 0746 843 7068 or Patrick Doyle on 07425 150 238, or click here to email us.



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