Small Bussiness Preparedness
Date: Monday, May 18 @ 07:21:35 PDT
Despite the increased vulnerability caused by man-made technological and natural disasters, the loss of highly skilled people due to the global financial crisis and the fact that a large percentage of businesses do not reopen after a major disaster such as a hurricane, businesses of all sizes fail to prepare. In addition over 60% of small business executives neglect to develop emergency plans according to polls conducted by FEMA and the Red Cross.
The hysteria caused by the recent H1N1 virus prompted many executives to scramble to come up with plans to face the “impending pandemic”. The flurry of activity died down once they learned that the virus was not going to be the “pandemic” the media had initially forecasted even as the infection spreading continues.
As other current events fill up media outlets, people will likely forget this outbreak and continue to postpone any plans for disaster preparedness until the next “pandemic”
If you own a small business, you must plan ahead for that unexpected catastrophe that could devastate not only your facilities, but also your ability to continue business operations.
Unlike large business that prepare for the worst case scenario, have dedicated resources, and have been for a long time planning for business continuity, small businesses executives see it as an unnecessary cost and as impediment, the utilization of resources that can be used for other purposes. Why prepare for an event that may never materialize?
However high-frequency catastrophic events such as fire, power outages and technology failures occur daily and affect thousands of unprepared businesses forcing them to close their operations.
Preparing for high-frequency events can make the difference between survival and having to close your business after being affected by a disaster.
Where to Start?
It's vital for small business owners involved in disaster preparedness to get independent appraiser or consultant to help accurately assess your business assets if you are to provide some clarity and be able to define strategies to tackle the problem.
You cannot protect what you do not know you have. Taking stock of your business to identify and prioritize your business operation and functions are fundamental to the development of your plan.
Identifying the type of events that are most likely to affect your area and learning about the risks and danger signs are critical to mitigate or eliminate them. This process should be performed on a annual basis as business conditions change.
Only then you will be able to make sensible decisions based on facts and a clear understanding of the critical components you must protect to develop your plan.
As a value added result of this analysis, problems and bottlenecks are identified and solutions become evident adding to the return on your investment even before you complete the process.
The survival decision a small business must make after disaster is choosing between moving on, reopening, or selling off the business, whatever is left. The effect of this decision is in direct proportion with the degree of preparedness business owners decided to implement.
Small businesses who have taken the time to establish a business continuity or disaster recovery plan will be better prepared to withstand the impact of a disaster and to rebuild than a business that was ill-prepared.