Could your business withstand 14 days of isolation?

Posted on 18th February 2020

Mid-February, and after weeks of the Coronavirus dominating the news headlines, we are now besieged with stories of widespread mayhem caused first by Storm Ciara and, now, Storm Dennis. For business owners and entrepreneurs, all this disruption begs the question – just how resilient is your business to unexpected events?

If you had to close operations whilst you bailed out and repaired your premises; or had to self-isolate for 14 days because you had innocently shared the same air as someone who has subsequently been diagnosed with Coronavirus, would you be confident that you would still have the same business to come back to?

As an ex-health services manager, accustomed to a culture in which risk registers and business continuity plans are the expected norm, I have often been surprised by how few small business owners give any thought to how their business might manage in the event of an unexpected crisis.

There is something about the entrepreneurial spirit that brings with it a sense of invincibility – a sense that, as long as we are dogged enough, are prepared to put in the graft, and make the personal sacrifices, it will all come right in the end, and we will be rewarded by the experience of achieving those big hairy goals. But, even those blessed with the most workaholic of bones cannot totally escape random ‘acts of God’ that show up from time to time and shine a light on our blind spots.

The truth is – none of us is totally invincible; no matter how hard we work, things happen that were probably never expected and, maybe, couldn’t be predicted. But; what we can predict is that someday, something that we don’t know about now, will arrive to test us. And when that something arrives, we should aim to be prepared.

Business continuity is all about managing both actual, and potential, risks – the known, and the not yet known. It’s about thinking ahead; imagining what we can put in place, and who we can rely on, to help us protect our livelihood, and reputation, when battling an as yet unknown threat. It’s asking ourselves, how can we minimise the inconvenience to our families, clients, and staff?

Here are 6 quick questions to get you thinking:

  1. On a scale of 0 – 10, how confident are you that your business could survive 14 days absence, at short notice, fully in tact?
  2. What would your customers and staff expect, as a minimum, if you were suddenly unavailable, or unable to trade?
  3. What are the most vulnerable aspects of your business, and your most valuable assets – what is currently in place to protect these?
  4. How long could you survive without income if you are temporarily forced to cease trading?
  5. What more could you do to give you, and your clients, greater peace of mind during a crisis, or unexpected event?
  6. Whose help could you enlist to increase the chances of your business surviving, even thriving, without you?

If business continuity is something that you would like to discuss, give me a call on 0333 444 9845 , or drop me an email via my contact page and let’s talk.

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