What Business Continuity Looks like for Trades

Fancy terms like business continuity are often thrown around at the corporate level at strategy meetings, but what does it mean to a self-employed tradesman or a small business owner?

In simple terms, business continuity is the ability for a company to continue operations if something were to disrupt the regular day to day. An example would be continue taking orders even if the online store is down or continue to service your plumbing customers if your car was out of service in the shop. It’s about rising above the issues at hand and keeping your customers happy despite the difficulties you are dealing with.

Trades like electricians, welders, plumbers, roofers, and more will have drastically different business continuity measures than a bank or a tech company. However, that doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t be making their own business continuity plans.


Tradespeople usually rely on their tools to get things done. From simple items like hammers, to more specialized equipment, having something broken, lost, or stolen can paralyze your ability to do work. This won’t just create delays, but it can also ruin your reputation as a dependable business owner. Create a backup plan for each of your tools, whether that means carrying around extras or knowing where to rent a replacement until yours can be repaired.


Many tradespeople depend on their vehicles to get to their worksites. While that might be a slightly bigger sedan or a full-out van, having a last-minute break down means that you can’t get yourself or your equipment to the site. Have a back up plan for such circumstances, such as a fiberglass truck box for protecting your professional tools which you can put onto a rental or secondary truck, or a system in which you can quickly and safely move the contents of your vehicle to another one.


According to stereotypes, tradespeople already seem to have an issue with communication, and having one actually pick up the phone every time is a gem worth keeping. Don’t mess up what you already have worked so hard on by having your phone malfunction and losing that line of communication with your clients and potential clients. Buy a heavy-duty case for your phone, keep it safe on your belt or another designated location, and try to keep it from getting damaged. But to really cover all your bases, you should carry around an old, back-up phone that you can always slide your sim card into if your primary phone was to “take a break” for some reason.


Extreme weather events are often busy times for some trades, with HVAC, plumbing, and electricity often malfunctioning. When you see that there’s a possible weather event coming on, prepare to be called out, meaning your car is suited to the weather, with winter tires, etc., your back up generator has fuel, and your equipment is primed for what it will need to deal with. Having extra parts on-hand is always a win, as deliveries can become long and difficult when the weather is being off. If you yourself are prepared, then you are more likely to be able to cover the areas in which others weren’t or deal with a large volume of emergency calls.

Business continuity is what no small business owner really things about until something happens that leaves them scrambling for solutions. Make yourself even more competitive by preparing for likely disruptions to your business and brainstorming ahead of time what can be done to prevent them or deal with them as best as possible.

Speak Your Mind