Most Common Business Disruption Examples


September 3, 2013

There are many factors and occurrences that can take a business down. We are all guilty of having the “that could never happen to me” mentality, but the truth is it’s difficult to predict when a business disruption will occur – especially when that interruption is not a natural disaster.

A recent global survey ranked the top five business interruptions, but in reality, these interruptions can really be described as “categories” – each of which encompasses a multitude of possibilities. Here are the five most common categories:

Adverse Weather

Over the last few years, several major weather conditions have made national news. The fact is, natural disasters have grown in multitude and are popping up in areas that weren’t necessarily prone to that type of weather in the past. Just a couple of years ago, the Texas Hill Country experienced snow and ice on the ground that emergency services simply were not prepared for. The result – businesses were forced to close down, losing a day of revenue.

Information Technology or Telecommunications Outage

When the Internet connection goes out at home or you have trouble “getting bars” on your personal cell phone, it can be frustrating. But if the Internet and phone lines are down at a place of business, important emails, phone calls, and news are blocked from being received, which could mean the loss of clients and business.

Transport Network Disruption

A flat tire or breakdown on a delivery truck may seem like a small issue, but if that truck happens to be carrying time-sensitive or perishable material the issue can escalate quickly. This category can also be affected by inclement weather or natural disasters.

Earthquake or Tsunami

While these natural disasters have obvious immediate effects on business operations, they can also have some hidden or unexpected repercussions. Even if a business isn’t physically affected by an earthquake or tsunami, its employees or operations can be. Dramatic world events can take a profound emotional toll on people.

Loss of Talent and Skills

There are many ways a business can lose talent or skills. An employee could quit at a moment’s notice or they could suffer an injury that renders them unable to perform their job as usual. It may not be something you like to think about, but there is always a chance of the sudden death of any employee.

While business disruptions are a continuous threat and typically cannot be fully prevented, there are steps a business can take to ensure the least possible fallout from such a situation. Proper planning ahead of time can prove to be enormously beneficial if and when a disruption occurs.

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