Why Plan for a Crisis

When I speak with folks or give seminars, I’m often asked, “Why should I plan on a crisis? My computers are backed up and I can handle anything else if it occurs, and odds are it won’t.”

That may or may not be true. According to the Department of Homeland Security, 20% of small to medium sized businesses will experience a significant event every 5 years. Of those victims, over 70% will fail within 3 years because of that event. They may have insurance to pay for the physical damage, but how can you recover lost credibility, lost customers, or future revenue. If your business closes its doors for 3-6 months because of a fire, can you afford to pay for employees who are not working and generating revenue?

Here are 4 reasons why your company should plan for a crisis?
1) Your future depends upon it. There are many “things” out there that threaten your company. Ice storms, hurricanes, tornados and fire are the obvious ones. Computer crashes top the list as well. But what about product recalls, false / malicious rumors about your executive team, workplace violence or an inability to fulfill service level agreements because of a pandemic. Proper planning may or may not prevent these from occurring, but you can certainly manage the ramifications if you have a well prepared plan of action.

2) You can actually get more sales with larger customers. How can this happen? You can gain a competitive advantage in a bidding situation. If you and your competition offer the product, with the same quality of service and at the same price, you need a competitive edge; some way to differentiate yourself from the competition. If you can prove to your prospect that you will be there for them – regardless of the circumstances – you will not only be more professional but you will probably win the bid.

3) You will become more efficient in your day-to-day operations. One of the first steps to building your plans is to analyze your work flows. Typically you will find single points of failure and operational bottlenecks. You may identify work being performed that is no longer necessary or can be done differently. You will get a better understanding of your I.T. infrastructure and backup and recovery methods. Your planning may change something that currently takes most of a Saturday to do manually, into a process done automatically at night. These efficiencies can translate into lower costs, higher productivity, improved customer service and ultimately higher sales. And then there’s the ultimate efficiency – if a fire occurs in your facility that will keep you out of the office for 3 months, how much more efficient will you be if you are back in operations with 24 to 48 hours?

4) You are helping the competition.  Think about it, when you are closed the following happens:
– You are losing any sales or new customers during that downtime
– You are referring your customers to the competition because they need the product and will go elsewhere if necessary
– You are losing future revenue because your competition has become a reliable supplier

One final word of caution, don’t wait until you have the fire to figure out what you need to do. By then it will be too late. Plan ahead and you will be planning to survive.

 

Tech Valley Continuity works with companies to help them prepare for the next ice storm, hurricane, computer crash or other event that can jeopardize their future.  If you would like to learn more about Tech Valley Continuity, visit the website at http://TechValleyContinuity.com.

 

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