Preparing for the unexpected – Benj Street guest blog
As a business owner, you probably couldn’t help but notice the news of floods, riots and droughts over the past few years; and chances are, your first thought was, “How would my business survive?”
Unfortunately, history shows that 40 to 60 percent of small businesses don’t survive disasters. Your challenge is to work out how to get yourself on the right side of those statistics. That starts with a little risk assessment.
Evaluate your exposure
Determine the likelihood and potential impact of a disruption. You don’t have to experience a major disaster to have a costly disruption. One short power cut or telecoms outage can turn into hours of lost productivity. For some businesses low-tech alternatives may keep employees working and the business going but for many, pencil and paper are no longer feasible.
Moreover, problems don’t need to be nearby to disrupt your operations. Anything from bad weather to political unrest may impact the suppliers you depend on, causing you to lose income even when you’re a safe distance from the chaos.
Calculate the cost to your business
Initially, estimating the cost of a business interruption doesn’t seem too difficult. You look at what you would have earned had your business been operational plus expenses incurred, and those are your losses. In fact, if you have business interruption insurance that’s what insurers look at to calculate your benefits.
But what about the intangibles? You may want to consider the following:
- Customer churn. Even if you get up and running quickly after a shutdown, some customers will go elsewhere to fulfil their needs. You can either accept them as lost or put money toward winning them back
- Lost business opportunities. When clean-up and recovery consume all your time and effort, you may miss out on sales, new partnerships and other development prospects
- Reputational damage. Even if an event is unexpected, customers and potential customers may perceive your inability to recover as evidence of poor leadership. The perception can be even worse if the disruption is due to something predictable or under your control, such as a data breach
- Staff morale. Your employees may get impatient and frustrated as they wait for business to return to normal and that frustration increases when leadership is disorganised. Poor morale is difficult to resolve and can cause good employees to look for new job opportunities
Even though insurance may not cover these losses, a strong response to an interruption can boost public perception and assure stakeholders that your business is stable.
You can always enlist external help to assess your business’s risks and disaster readiness but, ultimately, you understand your business better than anyone. The following questions can help you solidify plans to manage possible business interruptions;
- Do you have secondary suppliers?
- What is your backup energy supply?
- What is your back-up internet / phone service?
- Are important documents secure?
- How will you access insurance documents?
- How will you contact employees and clients in the event of a disaster?
- Where will you work from in the event that your office is unavailable?
- Are computers, servers and backup data secure?
- Are employees trained in cyber security?
The cost of a business interruption can be as difficult to predict as the events that cause it, but that doesn’t mean you should take a wait-and-see approach. Develop a plan that can minimise the fallout and get your operation up and running again ASAP.
If you would like to explore the subject of Disaster Recovery and Planning in a little more detail, Benj can be contacted on 0333 567 0911 or via email@example.com.
No risk with a FREE initial 45 minute consultation
To find out exactly how we can help you achieve your ambitious goals get in touch with us today. Our initial meeting is completely FREE and we promise you’ll leave with three brand new ideas that you can take away and implement immediately.
For your FREE consultation simply pick up the phone and call us today on:
What Our Clients Say...
I went on one of Rachel’s introduction to PR workshops and it was fantastic. She covered absolutely everything, explained it all in an understandable way and didn’t try to sell anything. She gave as much information as possible, answered all questions and she was just lovely. I would highly recommend Rachel for anything to do with PR and won’t hesitate to use her services in the future.
I was introduced to Rachel by an executive coach. My requirements were to provide quality, simple to understand content to engage with my target market and generate new customer enquiries in health and wellbeing. From my first discussion with Rachel, it was clear that she had the skills and empathy to provide a service to support the growth of my business. Rachel’s content writing and editing is very effective and her diligence ensures the right message is articulated. It is no surprise to me she has a strong track record of helping entrepreneurs and businesses of all sizes support their growth. Aside from her professional competencies, Rachel genuinely cares about people and working with her allows you to focus on your core business. For those who are new to building their own business or employed by a large corporate, you will get value and authenticity from Rachel’s content and PR services.
I met with Rachel and was instantly impressed with her warmth, enthusiasm and ability to understand the key issues being faced. She took time to clarity objectives and the key tasks required. A quick study she was able to pinpoint the brand tone of voice accurately. Rachel’s’ copy writing skills have been excellent. She has written for my business website, advertorial pages in lifestyle magazine and has also written first class responses to awards entries which are curtailed in length. Rachel is just really, really good!
Rachel came to provide our company with an appraisal for the company PR, and we learnt an awful lot! Rachel taught us how to make the most of our marketing and advertising and how to make it work for us, to get the client’s we really want. Rachel has provided our company with a plan to follow, and we are gradually implementing these procedures, and we know that in doing so, it will really raise the profile of our company and get us the work we want. I would definitely recommend Rachel to manage your company’s PR.
Rachel Hargrave is one of the best PR experts that I have met. She not only understands the best awards for her clients but also how to make the most of the opportunity for the client’s personality. Put simply Rachel gets people. She understands her clients and their goals and is with you all the way. I highly recommend Rachel Hargrave and The Awards people and RDZ PR.
Rachel and I met yesterday to discuss my existing marketing and options for how we can improve and develop the strategy for my business. It’s very clear that Rachel has vast amounts of experience, knowledge, ability and some great contacts to achieve some amazing results. If you need some professional guidance with PR/awards/marketing then I’d highly recommend you get in touch with Rachel and see how she can help you out.
I’ve worked with Rachel for the past ten years on a variety of client projects and for my business also and the service we have received has been second to none, consistent and most importantly delivers RESULTS. I would have no hesitation recommending RDZ PR to my customers and Business Live Network. Thanks Rach! Here’s to another ten years and more!
Thanks for all the hard work you put into the PR work for our companies and subsequently the business award submissions. You made the whole process stress-free, and the quality of the submissions have resulted in the receipt of multiple business awards. Great work, Rachel.