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?  

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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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