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After thousands of organisations worldwide were left completely unprepared for the COVID-19 crisis, the importance of having an up-to-date business contingency plan cannot be understated. 

In fact,  a survey conducted by Ernst and Young found that only 21% of board members believed their organisations were “very prepared to respond to an adverse risk event from a planning, communications, recovery and resilience standpoint” before the COVID-19 outbreak.

To ensure business continuity, having a plan in place for a variety of emergency scenarios is essential. After all, effective planning could be the difference between your business failing, remaining stable, or potentially even thriving in adverse conditions.

Fluence Capital has designed a checklist to help businesses develop a contingency plan in the case of unforeseen events and crises. If you don’t have one already, this checklist can help you overcome the gaps and provide certainty on where to focus your attention in the event of a crisis. 

Scenario Plan

  • Detail potential risks to your business. Risks can include drought, storms, floods, fires, pandemics, terrorism and theft. What is  the potential  impact of each scenario on your business? For example: High, Medium or Low.
  • Rate the likelihood of this risk occurring. For example: Highly Unlikely, Unlikely, Likely or Highly Likely.
  • Have you determined what actions and protection strategies will you take to minimise or mitigate the potential risk to your business.


  • Is all key documentation stored safely and accessible remotely?
  • Have you established an emergency communications plan? Ensure this is revised periodically in accordance of the likelihood of certain risks.  
  • Have you compiled a list of all key stakeholders and contacts including names and contact details? 


  • Have you reevaluated your business insurance policies since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic? Consider taking out cover for Business Interruption that will protect you from future unforeseen events.
  • Have you implemented the appropriate health & safety procedures in the event of a resurgence of the COVID-19 pandemic? Are these up-to-date?
  • Who are the key people in your business aware of legislation? Are these processes and requirements documented? 
  • Have you considered tax relief and income assistance to people affected by an unexpected downturn in business?


  • Calculate the potential financial and non-financial impact of an unforeseen business interruption.
  • Calculate projected cash flow regularly, and understand the cash flow requirements of your business on a weekly and monthly basis.
  • Have you calculated how long your business can survive another potential lockdown or unforeseen shutdown?
  • Do you understand your working capital requirements? Ensure you regularly review debtors, work in progress and creditors. 


  • Have you clearly defined the roles and responsibilities of business continuity team members? Ensure your organisation has the talent pipeline and skills needed to plan, identify and execute in the event of an emergency.
  • Have you determined how responsibilities will be documented and communicated to staff?
  • Have you determined the internal processes you will implement to regularly check that the current skills of staff members are still appropriate for the business?
  • Have you compiled a succession plan if one or a number of team members are ill, quarantined, or unable to work altogether? What impact does this have on your deliverables and operations?

Supply Chain 

  • Have you identified core services, and what is needed to maintain the supply chain in the event of an emergency?
  • Establish relationships with alternative suppliers in the event of supplier problems or transportation delays and test how quickly they can meet your requirements. 
  • Try to understand your critical suppliers’ and outsourced providers’ business continuity plans. Assess how this will impact on your business and its operations 
  • Do your current contracts explore the possibility of suppliers undertaking a forced closure?
  • Have you considered the levels of stock you are buying? Is your stock perishable? 


  • Does your network, hardware and applications have appropriate security in place for unforeseen data attacks as well as for remote working?
  • Do your staff have the hardware and software required to achieve this?

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