More than half a million small businesses in the UK have been forced to halt trading at least temporarily due to a disruption, according to 2016 research by small business insurer Direct Line for Business. The length of the shutdown lasted, on average, more than three months. The average cost of keeping a small business afloat whilst unable to trade for a month is around £20,000 and one in five small businesses believe that they would not be able to survive if they had to suspend trading for more than a month.
The most common impacts of an interruption in trading for small businesses are reduction in profit (48%), reduction in revenue (42%) and loss of customers (39%). This led to 32% of business owners having to invest additional personal money into the business to keep it afloat.
Having a business continuity (BC) plan in place can help all businesses to protect themselves against the impact of a business disruption event. A 2013 study, by the Chartered Management Institute (CMI), found that organisations with a BC plan in place lost less revenue, lost fewer new business opportunities and lost fewer customers due to business disruption events than those without a plan.
Here at Crises Control we had given much thought to ways in which companies of all sizes can cut down disruption to their business operations and so save themselves time, money and customers. These are some of our conclusions:
- Good planning begins with identifying risk. Knowing what risks you face as a business is the first step to mitigating them.
- Incident specific action plans help you respond more effectively. When a crisis strikes you need an action plan that you can use in real time.
- Ensure you have communication when you need it most. When your power is down or your network has been hacked, you must still be able to communicate.
- Build your supply chain resilience by including your supply partners within your crises response platform.
- Practice makes perfect. Test and test again, so that when you need it you are ready to respond quickly and effectively.
We have also produced a free white paper entitled “Five Ways to Cut Down Your Business Disruption“. You can download a free copy here and make sure that your business is better prepared to survive an interruption to your trading operations.