The first principle of my blog is Creating Ecosystems of Success and two key focuses are Financial Literacy/Money and Business/Entrepreneurship. One of the only constants in life is change. When running a business, one must keep their finger on the pulse of where things are going in order to survive. The following contributed post is entitled, The Importance of Business Resilience In a Changing Climate.
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The changing pattern of our climate is a hot topic of conversation these days, isn’t it? And the focus of much debate – understandably. But, if you’re in business, is its impact something you’ve given proper consideration to? It should be…
Why is it important?
Businesses across the world need to build their resilience to extreme weather incidents – and prepare for climate change.
Virtually all sectors are affected by the impact of these factors on their supply chains, for example. As well as costs associated with any damage to properties, declining productivity, illness and accidents. And, if you’re involved in hospitality, food production, or construction – being resilient is especially crucial.
How you can respond
So how can you make sure your company is responsive to change – and able to deal with these issues effectively? The solutions are sometimes industry specific, but there are many key areas that everyone should look at.
The importance of planning
Firstly, you need to create a clear business continuity plan, which sets out your response to weather related challenges.
What should it include?
Look at where you are now and analyse realistically how the weather affects you and your company. And draw up a business impact analysis too – taking into account all possible scenarios.
Set out the threats and potential benefits of any unexpected change in the weather – in the present. A warmer winter could result in increased disruption to supply chains due to flooding, for example, but fewer snow related ones. Or it could impact on your building’s fabric and structure – but make it easier and cheaper to heat. How do you respond ?
We’re not suggesting for a moment that changes themselves are positive – but that we have to be ready. Even more predictable fluctuations in climate, or weather incidents, need to be considered, in business.
Maintaining the right staffing levels
One important area to consider is your staffing level – and how to balance that alongside business demand.. If a heatwave or storm arrives, for example, you need to be ready – how will it affect you? Even more moderate switches in temperature or conditions will have an impact.
Staffing has been, and will be, a challenge in these kinds of situations so it’s crucial to have a well considered, robust plan in place. Imagine you own a small manufacturing company, for instance, and shut down operations because of storm warnings.
It would be unfair to deny your employees a day’s pay if that forecast was inaccurate. And your profits would suffer. But, if you keep the doors open, that has to align with your legal obligation and duty to keep people safe. And maintain a functioning working environment. If you fail to meet the correct standards in all of these areas, your staff could rightly apply for workers’ compensation. This illustrates one of many practical applications of having accurate, timely information.
In conclusion, it’s crucial not to underestimate the effect of unpredictable weather conditions on your business. But, if you stay fully informed on their impacts and forward plan effectively, you can get ahead of potential challenges.
Then you will be best placed to respond successfully to a changing climate. And remain resilient.