From time to time, I’m asked to talk to groups of business folks with small operations, family owned businesses, home-based operations, and owener operated enterprises. Here is the substance of an hour’s talk:
Think About It:
- There IS A 9 OUT OF 10 chance that your business
will go out of business for good if you are not prepared for a major disaster.
- If you are injured or become unable to work as a
result of a disaster, the chances are even higher that your doors will close.
- If you are unable to conduct business after 2
weeks of being closed, you probably won’t reopen.
- Most businesses that depend upon daily cash flow
have a permanent loss of revenue when the business is closed.
- Most operator/owner run businesses will have
permanent loss from any revenue or loss not covered by insurance and for the
length of time it takes for the insurance to pay off.
- Most owner/operators have chosen not to pay for
L&I, unemployment and other public assistance.
- Power and other utility services can be
interrupted for up to 2 weeks.
- Banks will not honor lines of credit and cash
loans without proof of payment
- Customers are fickle – many of them take their
business to other providers and not come back.
- The emotional and operational cost of a
lost dollar is 3 times – it takes $3 to overcome the cost of losing $1
- If you have to shut down for 3 days – and you
know it – list 5 things that you will do for your business?
- Working SMART for your business:
- S – STRATEGIC – STAY in business
- M – MANAGE – the MOST important things – People, Assets, Business Capability
- A – ACCOUNTS – Customers, Bank, Vendors, Payroll
- R – RESOURCES – Back ups, Extras, Credit, Funds, Alternates, Fixes
- T-TIME and TALENT – Prioritize, Authorize. Improvise, Back to Strategize
SYSTEMS THAT MUST BE IN PLACE:
- The ability to communicate with Staff, Customers and Key Stakeholders
- The capability to continue, restore and restart the provision of services or selling of products
- The ability operate business process including:banking, ordering,
PLANS and HOW TO’s WHEN THINGS ARE NOT NORMAL
- How are we going to manage ongoing business
- How are we going to assess damage and impacts – to our people, our place of operation, our assets and our capabilities
- How are we going to restart operations if interrupted
- Is there a way to recovery that which has been lost?
Tips on Damage Assessment
- Have a list of everything that could be broken or lost – through a video capture, lists and photos.
- Take photos and make notations of all lost, broken, damaged, and ruined assets
- Get estimates for repair and replacement
- Work with insurance reps to prepare reports/claims –
- Know the policy provisions and meet any insurance requirements
BACK IN BIZ???
Advertise and announce to EVERYONE – customers will return!
SOME THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND:
- Have more than 1 cell phone and email
- Keep customer contact records backed and available
- Accounts receivable – you want to keep that backed up
- Accounts payable – pay people first
- Have back up signatures and power of attorney so
that someone can run your business
- Have alternate suppliers and be prepared to provide temporary solutions to customers
- If you cannot provide a service, be ready to make a decision about your current jobs – either pay for a substitute or plan to recompense your customers
- Read all your insurance document NOW – make sure
you understand it
If all is lost – spend quiet time rethinking your business – sometimes you can restart and sometimes you can start over. Get legal advice, if needed.
Remember – a Crisis is ALWAYS an Opportunity
Jan Decker – 253 261 2704