Why a little planning now may just save your business

Captain Edward A. Murphy was right when he said, “Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.” He was an optimist in my opinion. Every successful business has a strategy plan to reboot and rebuild when a cataclysmic event strikes.

Here are some steps you can take to make sure that the company you took years to create doesn’t completely go up in flames when a natural calamity hits.

Brief your team and run drills
Develop a crisis plan and make sure your staff, especially senior management, is fully briefed on the emergency plan. Identify various scenarios and solutions for each and layout evacuation plans.

Identify where emergency supplies are kept, decide on meeting spots, and how/when to contact the office if the emergency occurs over a weekend. Also, notify your staff when to call your clients, how to brief the teams under them and where emergency paperwork is kept. Run drills several times a year to ensure the team knows what to do and don’t forget to show them how to use a fire extinguisher!

Backup your backups
Utilize multiple forms of backup systems to store important files. Use cloud-based backup systems as well as external drives. Saving to Dropbox is also a good option, in addition to keeping physical hard copies of the most important stuff. If one of your modes of backup fails, the idea is that you have another.

Talk to your office building about their emergency plans
Communication with building management will give you insight into their emergency plans and tell you if you need to invest in a backup office plan. Do they have generators in case the power goes out? Is the building on rollers in case of an earthquake?

If your building isn’t equipped to handle emergencies and get businesses back up and running, pinpoint the “backup office” and make sure the staff is fully aware of the meeting spot in advance.

Create a strategic alliance
Reach out to a few “sister agencies” in various parts of the country/world in advance to develop agreements that will help keep your business afloat and your clients serviced in a time of need. In the event of an emergency, clients and employees can be transferred temporarily so that momentum is not lost and you have time to rebuild.

Recheck your disaster insurance
Talk to your insurers and legal counsel to make sure you are protected against various disasters such as fire, flood, earthquake, tornado, etc. depending on your location.

Most importantly, do not procrastinate in getting a plan together. The thing about emergencies is that you never know when they are going to hit. Covering your bases can truly make the difference between a business that bounces back after a disaster and one that doesn’t survive.

Whether its fire theft, an earthquake or the loss of key personnel, it is imperative to include a plan for your business and for those on your team who depend on you. They deserve it.

Joseph Molina is president at JMPR Public Relations.