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February 14, 2018
There are many incidents that could cause significant damage and disruption to a small business, whether it is bad weather or a natural disaster, global pandemic or fraud. With businesses now increasingly dependent on computer databases, internet services and other technology, there is also greater exposure to system failures through power outages, viruses and hacking.
It is important to ensure you have sufficient contingency plans in place in order to avoid or minimise the potential disruption or damage to your business and its property, should it be affected by an incident.
Identify the potential risks facing your business – for example flood, fire, snow, illness or fraud. Then think about the areas of your business that might be affected if these were to occur and which key areas would cause a significant problem if they were to stop working.
Once you have established this, you can begin to devise a strategy to deal with each possible incident, starting with those that are most likely, and those that have the potential to cause the most damage or disruption.
Test your contingency plan rigorously to ensure it works and make sure it is reviewed at least once a year to keep it relevant.
Make staff members aware of important procedures – every team member should know what role they play in the event of an emergency situation and have access to emergency contact lists.
Consider the feasibility of staff working from home in the event of bad weather conditions or damaged premises so the risk of potential accidents is eliminated and the productivity of your business can be maintained.
There are many precautions that can be taken during the everyday running of your business to ensure that you minimise the risks where possible, should disaster hit:
Remember that it is important to act now to make sure you are prepared. It is easy to put off planning, but the point of a contingency plan is to prepare you for the unexpected!