As if local businesses didn’t have enough to cope with from recent flooding, clean up efforts and ongoing bad weather, we now have the much-publicised spread of the coronavirus virus to cause yet more concern and disruption.

These unexpected environmental challenges are a major threat to the small businesses that contribute massively to the county’s economy and its jobs market. They also demonstrate just how important it is for all of us to plan for the unexpected, as best we can.

For businesses – particularly small businesses – events like these can result in ‘business interruption’ – a combination of factors that make running a business impractical or impossible in the short, medium or longer term. In such circumstances, having the right sort of insurance cover can help enormously. At the FSB we recommend being covered for business interruption and we advise and provide products to our members accordingly.

But insurance is just one part of the equation. For while ‘planning for the worst’ is not the most enjoyable parts of life, it can help to build resilience as a business and an individual. Whether it’s labelled as disaster recovery, contingency planning or risk management the aim is the same. To ensure that come what may, there is a way forward to get beyond unforeseen or unexpected hurdles.

In larger businesses there are entire careers and teams devoted to such matters. In fact in a previous job I had the pleasure of meeting with someone who was the ‘director of catastrophe recovery’. Although a rather dramatic job title, it was clear they were focused on recovery more than catastrophe.

So while it’s impossible to predict the unpredictable, it is possible to plan good and less good scenarios. Then you can work out how best to tackle each.