Retroactively preparing for an emergency never tends to be the most effective course of action. Still, if you were able to foresee a crisis, you wouldn’t need an emergency plan at all, would you? Well, the only possible compromise between these two scenarios (the horrible one and the hypothetical one) is to see what your odds are. According to numerous surveys, cash flow interruption, worker injury, lawsuit and a physical emergency tend to be by far the biggest (and most likely) threats for your company. Here are four steps to help you prepare for all of this.
The first thing you need to consider is the potential cash flow interruption. This is not a scenario where you’re in such a rush (you don’t have to respond in seconds and minutes like in the case of a workplace injury or an office fire), yet, it’s by far the most likely emergency that you’ll face. In that situation, you need to know what your options are. Do you quit, or do you get another loan? Do you sell an asset or do you sell an invoice? These are just some of the options that you have available.
Another probability is the one of a worker injury, which is something that takes place even in the safest of the work environments. While some locations are naturally more hazardous than others, there is a myriad of construction sites that have gone days without an injury, while there are also so many offices where these things happen on a daily basis. Here, you need to start preventively by making sure all installations are in order, especially if there’s something wrong with power. In that case, you need to have a 24/7 available emergency electrician on speed dial.
Apart from this, you need to have an officer in charge of safety, and an entire office arranged and organised with safety in mind. You need to have a safety statement in place, and all the areas of the office labelled and injury-proof. As soon as the injury happens, you need to notify people responsible for this, make sure not to do more harm and draft a report as soon as the injured party is taken care of. It will prove to be of immense help.
This particular area is quite complex, seeing as how it can come as a result of several different problems. While still at the topic, it may be a direct result of a worker’s injury, same as it can be a result of a product that’s underperforming or false advertising. The problem that you face here may be double-fold, seeing as how the fact that you’re legally right doesn’t mean that this couldn’t quickly turn into a proper PR disaster. In other words, sometimes settling is a much better alternative and something you should consider.
There are some scenarios that you can’t prepare yourself for, like natural disasters, massive power outages or burglaries. In these scenarios, you need to focus on two issues. First, you need to have business interruption insurance (to protect you from a financial standpoint). Second, you need to have a mechanism that will help you get back in the game as soon as possible. The latter may require a considerable investment of resources and efforts, yet, it’s pivotal for the survival of your company.
The debate of whether an entrepreneur should be an optimist or a pessimist is a never-ending one. However, it shouldn’t be impossible to put together both of these ideas in a single person. What you need to do is work as if things are forever going to be in the best possible order, yet, prepare yourself for the eventuality that tomorrow the world may come to an end. With this kind of flexibility and adaptability, you should future-proof your business, no matter what happens next. Image: Unsplash. Author: Diane Smith