John Sharp says:
SMEs benefit most from preparing for the unexpected. The smaller you are, the less likely you are to recover well from a crisis. SMEs are less resilient, have more financial pressures and are heavily reliant on customer loyalty. I worked with a big company only recently and they said: “If we lose a building, we move into another one.” They are big enough to be flexible. Could you imagine saying that if the one building in which you worked was destroyed?
Any disruption to an SME is bad for cashflow and for customers. And it’s the simple things – such as losing your contacts – that ruin businesses.
According to AXA research, however, the message from SMEs is clear – if the crisis hasn’t happened yet, it’s not urgent enough to plan for. But, if you can recover from a situation before it becomes a disaster, you will minimise the cost of disruption, maintain customer loyalty, protect your business and remain competitive.
The great thing is that, if you store intelligence data offsite and communicate with customers and staff at times of disruption, you’re already halfway there. Once you’ve identified what your business needs, explored the four Ps – people, processes, premises and providers – and checked out the British Standard (BS 25999) you can respond to life’s challenges with ease.
John Sharp is MD and principal consultant at Kiln House Associates Ltd and a leading expert in the field of business continuity management
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