Feb 07 2012

WHAT “Contingency Plan”?

Feeling Invincible? . . .

Think Only Wussy Types


Fret Over “What If” Stuff?


Perhaps consciousness of the fragility of life has never struck you or your business full force. Perhaps you’ve somehow managed to escape the anguish, angst, and fears attached to the reality of your own or the life of someone close hanging by a thread. Perhaps you’re too young or too lucky or too blessed to have ever known the stress of having machines do the breathing and feeding and medicating and pain management?  



If that is even partly true of you, don’t let today pass without giving it at least a few moments of thought. Why? Because just as a business with no sign is a sign of no business, a business or business leader without good health — or a poor-health contingency plan– is the sign of a sick or unhealthy business.

“Nah,” a strong-willed 30-something entrepreneur responded to that idea, “My business is healthy,” he said, “and I have no provision for disaster because I work our regularly and I’m in good shape, we have a long-term lease, our customer base is growing steadily, and prospective investors are standing in line!”

“But surely,” I offered, “you have some kind of insurance coverage? Fire and theft? An office policy? Collision? Life? Health?” He cocked his head as if I’d hit him with an illegal punch, “Sure, but so what? THAT is MY contingency plan. Things go south? I just file claims and collect enough to start something else!”

“That’s good,” I said, “because burglaries and fires and tsunamis and earthquakes and hurricanes and tornados do happen, but I’m talking about catastrophic illness. That happens too.” Ask around. You’ll find plenty of people who’ve experienced sudden ill health, who suffered, and whose businesses suffered because they had no contingency plan.

When that “CLOSED DUE TO FAMILY ILLNESS” sign goes up on the front door (or website), dwindling (sometimes plummeting) customer loyalty and support follow. We live in a what-have-you-done-for-me-lately? society.

Are you ready to face critical damage to your revenue stream and threats to the life support system your enterprise has routinely fostered?


What steps will you take and in what order? Or who will pinch-hit for you? What impact can your suppliers and customers expect, and how –specifically– will they be dealt with to accommodate their needs and to keep things running and moving forward? What gears will need to be shifted? By whom? When?

The time to deal with contingency planning is now, and to re-visit the plan at least once a year. The cost to plan is time. The cost to cope without a plan can be annihilating. It’s certainly true that expectations breed disappointment, but it’s equally true that having no plan is like captaining a rudderless ship.

And then there’re storms . . . 


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Hal@Businessworks.US  302.933.0116

Open  Minds  Open  Doors

Make today a GREAT day for someone!

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May 26 2009


The Business of Healthcare

Reality is that doctors are no longer” just” examiners, diagnosticians, and healers. In fact, the way things have been going, odds are that something about the healthcare profession will be vastly different by the time we wake up tomorrow morning.

And today, doctors are routinely expected to be insurance experts; banking, investment and financial wizards; administrative hot-shots; marketing, patient relations and community relations gurus; human resource management directors; professional buyers; government compliance champions; shrinks (even if they’re not psychiatrists or psychologists); oh, yes, and family icons.

Does this all add up to patients not getting as much quality care and attention? Of course. How can ANY human being whose existence is devoted to providing professional healthcare be expected to give patients full attention with so many other commitments and expectations tugging at her or his stethoscope? There is a way. Read on.

Thankfully, doctors share many of the same hallmark characteristics as entrepreneurs — from managing diverse cases, juggling breakneck schedules, being able and willing to work long hours and turn on the proverbial dime (if FDR ever knew!), to being self-empowering, quick decision makers with fairly strong delegation skills…and commanding (commandeering?) egos.

     Both–doctors and entrepreneurs–are motivated by the desire for personal achievement and financial gain, as well as a deep sense of things spiritual. Both take reasonable risks. Hence the name I created many years ago: “Doctorpreneurs.”

The differences of course are equally important. Human (and animal) healing, relief, care, wellness, and hope are certainly not software, electronics, transportation…or beer, hot dogs, tobacco, and french fries!

Two telling characteristics common to savvy doctors and true-blooded entrepreneurs is that both will only take reasonable risks, and both are smart enough to recognize that:

A) They don’t know and don’t want to know everything outside their realm of expertise, nor do they want to sacrifice the time it takes to learn because it detracts from their specialized skills and interests, and

B) They need to find and surround themselves with people who are experts in their own fields because in the long run it’s easier and less expensive to pay professional fees than to waste time and energy learning by trial and error.

     These are not traits of government or corporate leaders.

In the end, they are the traits that will hold our embattled healthcare programs and services together in much the same fashion that entrepreneurs (ala Jobs and Gates) will be the true agents of change as captains of small business that will turn the economy’s tide to productivity, prosperity, and growth.

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Input welcome anytime: Hal@TheWriterWorks.com (”Businessworks” in the subject line) or comment below. Thanks for visiting. Go for your goals, good night and God bless you! halalpiar  # # # 

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