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Continuity is Essential to your Business! PDF  | Print |  E-mail

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Recent winters caused business disruptions in the Puget Sound area. Windstorms crippled both residences and businesses for weeks during 2006. Interstate-5 was closed due to flooding in 2007 and record snow knocked out commerce in 2008. The Seattle "Snow-mageddon" is a current example of a business disruption.  Maybe your business made it through but maybe next time it won’t! What about the runoff this spring?

You lock your house, your office, your car. You buy insurance for your house, your office, your car... even your life, your health and more. You put perishable food in the fridge. What are you doing but safeguarding the things you value?

You have business plans, financial plans, marketing plans, sales plans and operations plans to keep your business running but are you prepared with a business disruption plan? If the answer is no, you are not alone...but ‘not alone’ doesn’t make it right. Or smart.
NPR recently reported a comparison between the disasters in Haiti and Chile. An earthquake expert said in essence: “Earthquakes are not natural disasters. They are human disasters.” Now you can take that statement in two ways: 1) The loss of human life is certainly a disaster at any time or 2) Human error failed to mitigate the damage. It’s important to understand that poor building codes and construction killed 200 times more people in Haiti (7.0 earthquake) than in Chile with a much stronger earthquake (8.8-magnitude).
But this is not Haiti or Chile and how many U.S. businesses are prepared for the loss of revenue during a severe disruption? Are you? The US government claims that 25% of businesses never reopen after a disaster but you don’t need to add to their statistics. Prove them wrong.  Loss of revenue after a disruption is not a disaster if you prepare and plan for it. The loss of revenue may be mitigated, even eliminated altogether. 
You never know when a disruption will occur but you can be prepared whenever it arrives. Somewhere between “emergency preparedness” (which is a 3-day supply of food and water) and “disaster recovery” (which is cleaning debris), emerges “business continuity”.
With business continuity, you plan now to maintain a revenue stream during a disruption or as soon thereafter as possible. The cause of the disruption is not important. Wind, flood and snow will all affect your business differently. The issue is the disruption--- to your cash flow, your communications, your staffing, customer relations, facilities, computer systems, operations and supply chain.
When one area is impacted, it can easily domino through other parts of the business. Maybe weather issues create a disruption in several areas but because you have planned for a disruption to the areas individually, you can now group the plans including solutions for the external issue at hand.  Through the most severe conditions, you can keep your business running by planning now---and this, while your competition is closed! 
Are you prepared for the unexpected? Would you like to learn more?
It’s true the unexpected happens. Plan now to be prepared.
Click here to go to our Downloads Page for a complimentary Business Continuity Assessment Tool.
If you need more help, please contact us.
Comments (4)
  • Kathi Grow
    This is so true. We need t obe our own best advocates! Intention and planning aregreat, but we always need to be thinking one step beyond where we are! Thanks for the great thoughts! It is great food for thought for my business planning! This idea is getting prioritized at the top of my action list!
  • Pete  - Thanks
    Kathi,

    Thanks. I think it is an important issue. The problem in the Kent Valley is not resolved. And this issue applies even if you are high and dry.

    ciao,
    P>}
  • Diane
    Is that what I have to look forward to here, floods, records snows and debilitating windstorms? Yikes!

    A very good message for every business person. The thing about the unexpected is that you can always expect it. You just never know when.
  • Pete  - Not that bad
    Diane,

    This winter could be bad according to people smarter than me in those ways.

    It just takes a little planning to avert a big disaster.

    Business people stick there head in the sand, like that will do any good. The sky is not falling either. Let's just look at the reality of the situation.

    Thanks, for your comment.

    ciao,
    P>}
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