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The Big Bang Theory.
No, not the TV show or the Universe Origin theory. I mean what’s your plan (personal and business) for when something catastrophic takes place? Not only that, but, as anyone who has lived in the world of business for a while knows, there is likely some distance between “theory” and “reality.” That’s the problem…
Many businesses have a disaster plan. Call it crisis management, emergency management planning, or what you will, if you have spent time identifying likely disaster scenarios, you have invested in creating plans for them that will mean less disruption to you and your business. There are an enormous amount of resources available for the Small Business Administration here, which are helpful in the process. However, it is impossible to plan for Every Single Crisis you could confront. Not only that, but the test of a plan is how it works when the event takes place, and this is where a lot of businesses fall down. Business catastrophes are many times predicated on natural disasters of some sort. That is well and good. There are other disasters, aside from death (dying is a real problem, obviously, but not the focus of this article….), that take place. Many of these are personal, and can have a huge impact on your business, especially if you are a solo-preneur.
Here’s a short list:
- Your best customer quits you.
- Having a mobile business, your car or truck gets totaled in an accident (and you get injured…).
- Sudden health problem (you are diagnosed with cancer, MS, diabetes, kidney failure, etc.).
- Your top employee quits.
- If married, you get divorced AND removed from your home, which is/was your home office.
- Your teenager gets arrested for drugs, violent behavior, drunk driving, etc.
- The biggest local employer pulls out of the area, leaving your business at -75% of your previous business potential.
You can fill in any others that could hit you, for which you are manifestly unready…
So what can you do?
First, realize that disaster wears many faces. By definition, it will take place suddenly and is most likely to blind-side you and your business. Also realize that much of regular business disaster planning misses these kinds of calamities. You don’t need to come up with a stand-alone plan for every single eventuality. That would take forever, and you will still miss the one that’s going to “get you.” Instead, Create categories within which you think and work at devising a plan that could be flexible enough to help you.
You will need to revisit these plans regularly. Don’t believe this is a “one and done” kind of plan, any more than your business and marketing strategies are fully baked forever.
Make sure Your Big Bang Theory can guide you when your Big Nasty Reality comes along!