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Starting out.

Company name: Continuum

Location: Charlotte Square, Newcastle.

Line of business: Business continuity solutions.

Director: David Pledger.

When did you become established? July 2005.

Where did you go for business advice? Entrust and the Regional Service for Clustering.

How did you decide which line of business to enter?

We were aware that a lot of businesses did not have plans in place to cope with unforeseen disruption and disaster. We pulled together a multi-disciplined team to raise awareness of the issues and provide solutions.

How did you come up with the company name?

Our advertising agency presented a number of options and we felt Continuum best represented what we do.

What's the best thing about running your own company?

Coming from a corporate IT background, I was used to working with a large team where decisions took time to implement.

Now the decisions are mine so we can react to the demands of our fast moving sector and meet our clients' needs quickly. Nobody wants a business disaster but being prepared and planning for one means people are averting the worst that can happen ( loss of revenue, jobs and possibly the whole business.

The planning process helps businesses focus on what is really important to them. Their people, customers, suppliers and their systems.

Frequently companies will come out of the planning process more focused on their core business.

When people think disaster they think about fire, flood, theft or terrorism. But penalty clauses for late delivery can be disastrous to a manufacturing or building company.

We recently had to factor in delivering auto parts by helicopter in the event of a supply chain breakdown because this would be less expensive than the penalty clause.

Big companies regularly plan for these contingencies but we work mainly with SMEs for whom our service is every bit as vital. It is a great feeling to be part of protecting our business community.

Our disaster recovery plans offer a real competitive advantage to our customers because they can demonstrate to their customers that they have plans.

Our relationship grows stronger as our customers expand and we become a real part of their overall business planning function.

IT is increasingly vital to every business function and threats to IT are multiplying daily. We need to keep abreast of these threats so our work is a constant learning curve.

This is a challenging and rewarding process.

There is a great business support infrastructure in the region and it is good to be part of that culture of support.

What's the worst part of running your own business?

Juggling too many hats.

What advice would you give to anyone starting out in business?

Smile, network and take advice from people you respect.
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Copyright 2005 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Oct 31, 2005
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