Thursday, June 12, 2008

Are you prepared?

Like other parts in the Midwest, southern Indiana where I live has recently experienced a tremendous amount of flooding. Several properties that we own are completely flooded. We also lost power for several days, which meant that we did not have access to the Internet and could not operate our business as normal. Multiple roads were flooded, which meant that we could not always go where we needed to go. We are still without phone service.

The question I pose today is the following: As a business owner, are you prepared for the unexpected? What happens if your physical business building or any of your other properties are flooded? What if your computer system gets zapped by lightening? Do you have a backup? What if your business burns to the ground? What if you or a key employee dies?  What if the area you live in is hit by a hurricane? What if there is another terrorist attack? These are all viable circumstances out of your control that could dramatically affect your business. 

Although you cannot control many of these external circumstances, you can control how are able to respond to them. For instance, you can purchase insurance. You can backup your data regularly and/or utilize web storage to have continuous access. You can document all the job duties and tasks so that it is easier to replace key employees if need be. You can have an succession plan. You can have a plan for what to do should your business need to be evacuated. You can be flexible and think creatively how to respond.

How else might you prepare for the unexpected?

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