By: Cindy McIlhargey, Founder, Fenix Essentials Consulting. My career in Administration and Emergency Operations began in 1985. www.fenixessentials.com
It is estimated that as many as 40 percent of small businesses do not reopen after a major disaster such as a flood, hurricane,
tornado or earthquake. These businesses were unprepared for a disaster; they had no plan or backup system. They figured “Why bother? Disasters don’t happen here.”
Even though you may not be in a disaster-prone area, something like a hazardous spill or leak can prevent you and your employees from getting to your facility. Or if your business doesn’t go under water, customers/clients and supplies may not be able to get to you. Power outages, surges, strikes or civil unrest can also affect your daily business operations. A crisis can strike quickly and with little or no warning.
Think about how a disaster could affect your employees, customers/clients and workplace. Think about how you would continue conducting business if the area around your business is closed or streets are impassable. How you would serve your customers/clients even if your business is closed? There are three things you need to consider: human resources, physical resources and business continuity.
What can you do?
Business owners invest a lot into their business plans and market research, but really don't think about contingency plans. For example, a solopreneur or small business owner uses its own computer system and it fails. They have a major data loss, unless they have a backup. That would be detrimental to that business owner. What if employees were affected by a tornado or flooding and would not be able to get to work for several days while they are taking care of their home and families?
One of the most strategic decisions you can make as a business owner is developing a plan in case disaster strikes. This process does not have to be time consuming or costly and should be tailored to your specific risks and needs. There are three questions to ask yourself to help you prepare to stay in business should a crisis present itself ~
1. How vulnerable would your business be if a disaster or other emergency were to occur?
Have you thought about what would happen and how you would continue to operate? I would love to hear from you.