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Planning and Preparation - Turning a Crisis Into a Mere Hiccup

January 23, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 182

Why should you plan and prepare for a crisis? You don't know what that crisis could be and you probably can't control whether it happens or not. Indeed it may never happen so why waste time and energy thinking about it? You're only a small business, you don't have endless resources...

Most businesses, small or large, will be impacted by an external event at some stage. This could be anything from a dramatic event such as fire or flood, or something more humdrum but potentially very damaging such as a technology disruption or a supplier failure. And while you cannot predict what problem may befall your business, you can limit its impact by planning and preparation.

There are a lot of resources available online with comprehensive template business continuity plans and online questionnaires; however, it isn't the most exciting topic and small business owners have many demands on their time. Better to take a few baby steps towards planning and preparation than not have any plan in place at all.

Often it's the simplest of things that can make a difference in the first hours of a crisis. Answering these questions could help you keep things running so that your business simply hiccups along for a bit rather than grinds to a complete halt.

Who do I need to contact in a crisis? Could I contact them? Be creative with your list. Employees, customers and suppliers are obvious but what about utility companies, emergency plumbers, bank and insurance companies. The list goes on. Are there alternative premises I could use? Working from home is simple but what about agreeing with a fellow small business to hot desk? Make sure you test this out beforehand. It's more difficult if you are a producer but try talking to your competitors. Is there scope for cooperation? Do I have the tools I need to operate my business from different premises? Think about stationery, business cards, order forms, terms of business as well as technology. If something happens to me, is there someone who knows enough about the business to hold the fort. Do they have access to keys and computer systems? Would they know who to contact and how? If something happens to the owner of a small business, speedy communication can prevent everything crashing down.

Finally, do you have a "grab bag" in a prominent place in the event of a more dramatic crisis - key contact lists, back up disk/USB sticks, spare keys to office and vehicles, business stationery, mobile phone charger, torch and spare batteries, first aid kit.

Now you're ready to take the next step and think about your crisis management plan. But that's another article...

If you like to hear more including a free questionnaire to get you thinking, please email

Source: EzineArticles
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Article Tags:

Small Business


Crisis Management


Disaster Recovery


Business Crisis


Technology Crisis


Crisis Plan

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