Something that all successful business owners must take care of, no matter how small the business, is emergency procedures.
Do you have a fire escape plan?
Are your staff aware of this plan?
What about important documents, details of insurance policies, backups of important computer records? Are copies of these stored off the premises, in a fire-resistant safe or ‘in the cloud’?
If your office is flooded or broken into, do you know what you need to do?
In times of emergencies, you may not be thinking clearly. It is best to be well planned for all possibilities before they occur, although hopefully you will never have to put these plans to the test.
I recommend all business owners spend time considering every possibility and ensuring there are systems in place to reduce the damage should an emergency situation of some form occur.
Document these procedures in your procedure manual, and keep another copy off the premises or with other ‘important items’. And make sure all staff or team members are fully aware of these procedures.
You will also need to have a range of contingency plans for when other ‘situations’ occur, such as what to do:
- if your computer stops functioning properly
- if your main employee is suddenly struck down with illness or needs to leave your employ
- if your vehicle breaks down
- if your production machine breaks down
- if your power supply, telephone line or internet connection is down for a long period
- if your main supplier goes into liquidation
- or if all of these things happen at once!
I hope that none of these things will affect your business – or your personal life – but chances are, if your business is successful and operating for some time, eventually at least one of these things will occur. You may need to solve the problem, or put contingency plans in place, immediately. If you have to waste time thinking about what to do, then telephoning around to locate assistance, you could lose business and damage your reputation… or worse.
So … if you don’t yet have comprehensive contingency plans documented for your business, I urge you to schedule time in your diary to do this very soon.