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Prepare to fail if you fail to prepare

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We are encouraging small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs) across the East Midlands to put plans in place to protect themselves against potential disasters.

According to the Chartered Management Institute (CMI), it is estimated that on average, only 41% of SMEs across the country have a business continuity plan in place, with that figure dropping dramatically for organisations on the smaller end of the scale. Lack of in-house expertise, resources and time are often cited as reasons for this.[1]

This compares to around 54% of firms globally – although statistics show that only 49% of those with a plan are confident that it will be sufficient in the event of a crisis.[2]

But with more volatile and disruptive weather patterns, increasing cyber and information security threats, as well as the ongoing risk of fire and theft, businesses are being advised to do more to make sure they can continue to operate despite such circumstances.

As Andy Jenkins, Operations Director at Russell Scanlan, explains: “The latest reports suggest that 93% of managers have suffered from business interruption due to the weather, and 62% of managers see cyber security threats as an increasing risk to their business.

“Throw in the disruption that an accidental fire or aggravated burglary can cause and suddenly, that can mean the difference between a business getting back on its feet and going under.[3]

“There is a compelling case for small firms to put a plan in place to manage these types of scenarios. Not only does it mean damage limitation, it also enables a company to retain their competitive advantage that they’ve worked so hard to build up.”

This advice – prepare to fail if you fail to prepare – comes as yet more organisations put out warnings about the current risks facing UK businesses.

The National Audit Office has just issued a report, stating that a lack of skilled workers means the country won’t be able to fight online threats effectively for at least twenty years.[4] And New Scientist – plus other advisory bodies such as the Environment Agency and Met Office – continue to remind us that global warming is on the increase, causing freak weather patterns to become the norm.[5]

Andy added: “We’re strong advocates of business continuity planning – not only because it will help firms protect their interests, but also because on a very practical level, it can help them save money over the long term. If an insurer can see that an SME is as prepared as they can be for the worst case scenario, then it is clear that potential risks are being effectively managed and therefore don’t have to be factored into the equation.


[1] Planning for the Worst – The 2012 Business Continuity Management Survey.

[2] 2011 Crisis Preparedness Study

[3] Managing Threats in a Dangerous World – The 2011 Business Continuity Management Survey

[4] http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-21414831

[5] New Scientist

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