If you’ve been following current events, you will have seen deadly flooding in Colorado; a devastating fire on the Jersey Shore less than a year after Hurricane Sandy; another cruise ship debacle off an Italian island; and now a deadly shooting in a Washington DC Navy yard near the Pentagon.
These disasters unfortunately happen way too much and in many cases aren’t avoidable. The crisis comes when business owners are not adequately prepared or ready to deal with them.
September is National Preparedness Month and should be a reminder that none of us are immune from disaster. Prevention is the first step in the process and the most under-used by small business owners. Preventing just one disaster from ever occurring will save you $250,000 at a minimum, yet because it’s never “felt,” can be overlooked. Making decisions before they must be made also gets neglected. I’ve spoke with too many business owners that feel they can handle any calamity thrown their way at the moment. I believe this is a recipe for disaster.
I encourage each of you reading this brief memo today to commit to significantly improving just three areas of your crisis planning before the end of 2013…
- Create a working crisis plan that is communicated to all your employees. This is not a template you simply download off the Internet and stick in some electronic file folder. This is a working document that will save your company hundreds of thousands of dollars and perhaps your existence if done correctly.
- Determine what you will do with all your employees tomorrow if your building becomes uninhabitable overnight due to fire, flood, or some other disaster. Most of the misfortunes that render buildings unavailable to occupy happen in the middle of the night when nobody is there. Knowing how to operate the next day is crucial.
- Have a backup plan for extended loss of power. Over 70% of business stoppages are from loss of power. In today’s world if you have no power or connectivity, you may have a building and people, but you have no business.
Don’t make crisis planning onerous. By taking three small steps at a time, you will over time make huge improvements and protect your business, your employees, your customers, and your personal investment. If you need help in making this happen, contact me.
© 2013 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved