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If recent events have shown us anything, it is the importance of being prepared for the unexpected. After all, who could possibly have predicted at the start of 2020 that by the end of March the country would be in lockdown with many workers either furloughed or adjusting to working from home? While this has presented many challenges for individuals, the greater burden has been the one placed on businesses of every size which have had to adapt quickly and effectively to survive.

At Eatons, it has always been our policy to encourage our clients to have an effective Business Continuity Plan (BCP) in place to ensure their company is as ready as it can possibly in the event of sudden and unpredicted events. We have always regarded this as a separate number of preparations that need to be made to those which prepare for internal disasters such as an IT failure. In fact, this is more a way to mitigate against external events such as war, natural disasters and the current COVID-19 pandemic.

In drawing up a Business Continuity Plan there are a number of areas to consider:

  • The essential business services that will be required to continue operation
  • Who are the key personnel in maintaining business operations
  • Who will be responsible for implementing and overseeing the elements of the plan
  • The cost to the company of implementing and running the plan, and how the funds could be secured and provided
  • The level of technology, machinery and back-up required for the smooth continuation of the business
  • Where the business will be located while the plan is in place and what steps will be needed to enable remote working for employees.

Once all of the above have been resolved, the company should be able to start to put together a plan to cope with most eventualities. It is likely to go through a number of drafts which need to be discussed and agreed with stakeholders with refinements being carried out along the way.

When the Business Continuity Plan has been finalised it is important to check and review it regularly. This is because businesses constantly evolve and change and so do their requirements. It’s also recommended that, just as there are regular fire drills, there should be an annual practice exercise. Ideally this should be as realistic as possible to have genuine value. So, for example, holding it at an atypically quiet time of year such as between Christmas and the New Year, would be of limited value.

As part of our service to our clients we often become involved in the testing of the BCP either on a one-off or an annual basis. Often, it is best to have an objective viewpoint as we can identify factors which might otherwise go unnoticed.

Ironically, at a moment when many businesses are quieter than usual, this may be a good time to either create or review your company’s own BCP and we would be happy to help. Although our offices are closed at the moment, we continue to operate and are holding many of our meetings over the phone or via video conferencing.


To make full use of any of our business support services simply contact your nearest Eatons office or email us at and we will get back to you as soon as possible to take things further.



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