Preparing your business for disruptions

Unexpected disruption can happen at any time and has the potential to threaten the future of a business. Running a business can be both extremely rewarding and good planning and a variety of key skills are essential to ensure success.

Business emergencies and interruptions

Businesses can be affected by risks in several categories, including emergencies and natural disasters such as fires, floods and acts of malice or terrorism. The impacts of an emergency could extend to adversely affect the community, economy, infrastructure or the environment.

They can also be affected by disruptions such as:

  • equipment and technology failure
  • power failure
  • fire or chemical emergencies
  • construction works
  • crime and anti-social behaviours
  • staffing issues
  • your health or other personal issues
  • sudden change in market conditions
  • disputes and other legal issues.
  • Road closures and traffic disruption due to local works, accidents, breakdowns or events
  • Infrastructure inconvenience i.e.: installations such as roadworks, or failures such as broken pipes.

It is important to consider how you, your business and staff would cope with a disruption that may only be short-term, or could extend for days, weeks or even months.

The following information and resources will help you to consider the needs of your business and prepare for disruptions by putting effective measures in place.

Scaffolding construction

Business continuity planning

An area of planning that is often overlooked yet incredibly important is to make a contingency plan for the continuity of essential business functions in the event of an emergency or disruption.

As part of your preparation you'll need to:

  • understand the immediate risks to your business and the likelihood of it occurring;
  • evaluate the impact they would have on your business
  • develop a plan of response and recovery.

Having a plan will help you resolve immediate issues and also recover as soon as possible if an incident or crisis does happen.

Tools and templates

Being prepared for impacts from construction works

Neighbouring a construction site or an infrastructure upgrade can affect things such as access to your business, noise levels, street appeal and environmental conditions and ambience. Fortunately, it is something that is generally advised in advance, giving you time to put plans in place.

When projects are announced be proactive. The early stages of a planned project is the perfect time to brainstorm ideas with other businesses and business associations in your area to identify possible activities and events which could help drive business and attract customers before, during and after the construction period.

Current construction projects

To find out about current construction projects and other infrastructure see the following:

While construction projects can be frustrating, it’s important to remember the positive impact these projects will have in your area in the years to come.


The following resources are to help you plan and prepare in advance of construction beginning in your area.

Preparing for local construction works guide will help you manage your businnes during neighbouring construction works.

A business continuity checklist is provided with several useful prompts to work through during each construction phase.

Further advice

For further business help or advice, please contact the City of Adelaide’s free business advisory service:

Brian Jackway

8203 7365

Sergio Mattiazzo

8203 7816