How to get rapid results and quick wins

This is a time of year when my office is bombarded with party conference invitations ranging from whacky fringe events to worthy causes all using the event to showcase their achievements and aspirations.

A golden opportunity to strut your stuff as they might say in New York where the Prime Minister recently used his attendance at the UN General Assembly to promote British business across the Atlantic.

I am tempted to follow his lead and turn up at conference this year with a copy of ‘Business Continuity for Dummies’ tucked under my arm.

Do I hear ‘this doesn’t sound like a snappy title to put on my must read list’ and ‘okay, we’ve heard about funding for lending and that sort of thing – it’s been in the news’.

But I get the distinct feeling from my constituency postbag that there is a need to put meat on headline grabbing announcements which leave small businesses enthused but often at a loss about where to go next.

This little book – and laying aside all modesty I admit it has just been published by the Cabinet Office in partnership with the Business Continuity Institute and Emergency Planning Society – this book is the SME’s manual on how to achieve rapid results and quick wins.

Written with Small and Medium Enterprises in mind, the guide acknowledges that smaller businesses just do not have the money, time and resources to prepare for disruptions, yet the cost of dealing with them when they do arise can be significant.

The guide provides simple, and for the most part inexpensive, ‘how to’ measures to deal with difficulties ranging from being let down by one of your key suppliers all the way through to major disruptions caused by challenges such as flooding, severe weather and a pandemic influenza outbreak.

We need to concentrate on getting the economy moving. And for the first time we can offer a survival guide which allows SMEs to go about their business more freely and with confidence that they can manage challenges they may face. Read more at

So having blown my trumpet for the economy I look forward to dropping in on some of the more ‘fun’ events – particularly those inspired by young people, and revel a bit in the fizz and buzz of conference, before the curtain falls and it’s back to Westminster – and work.