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What is a business continuity consultant? How can they help me?

A successful business is one that is capable of continuing its operations even when faced with challenges. These challenges can be multifaceted and affect different parts of the business, but the key difference between a successful business and an unsuccessful one is the extent to which they are prepared to handle these challenges when they arise.

The COVID-19 pandemic was a particular challenge to businesses. Those that thrived and grew were those that had strong business continuity plans in place and were able to pivot their operations quickly. This meant that they continued operating effectively, with their staff in remote locations still accessing vital business information and remaining productive.

Conversely, those that were unable to switch immediately to remote working practices, or whose IT infrastructure was not set up for remote access struggled. Many businesses could not operate effectively and closed, either temporarily or permanently. Many employees were made redundant as their jobs no longer existed and this had a dramatic effect on the country's economy.

What is business continuity consulting?

Business continuity consulting is a service that is delivered by firms such as Needhams 1834. It is the process through which the resilience of a business is strengthened by expert advice and assistance.

How business continuity consulting can help your business

When you engage the services of a business continuity consultant, an independent professional will be assigned to review the risks that your business faces, assess its current resilience levels and identify any shortcomings.

This individual will work with your business to resolve these shortcomings, implementing policies and practices aimed at strengthening your ability to respond to unplanned events and to continue operating in the face of adversity.

What services do business continuity consultants offer?

As well as supporting businesses in developing a business continuity plan and putting in place the measures that are necessary to enact it, a business continuity consultant can also perform a range of other services.

They can inspect and audit a business' existing business continuity arrangements to ensure that they are adequate, current and enforceable. They can stress test the existing processes and identify shortfalls for the business to resolve.They can support businesses in training their personnel to respond to an emergency situation in accordance with the needs of the business continuity plan, thus increasing business resilience. They can tailor the training to the distinct needs of the business, based on its size, scale and industry sector.

Finally, a business continuity consultant can provide independent assurance, endorsing your business's resilience plans, policies and training methodologies, thus contributing to greater success in contract awards and in general business operations. With the help and support of Needhams 1834, the world is your oyster.

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