As you think about starting a business, the last thing that probably comes to mind is planning for a crisis. This is especially true if you’re a one-person operation working out of your spare bedroom. Why on earth would you need to do all this extra work in the unlikely event of a disaster?
The bigger question is, why would you go through all the trouble of starting a business without having a plan to protect it from internal and external threats?
As we’ve learned from the COVID-19 pandemic, an unlikely event can ruin even the best-laid plans of businesses large and small. A crisis isn’t a matter of if, but when. It doesn’t have to be a global pandemic either. It can be a greasy fryer that catches fire or an employee taking a little extra out of the till each day. A slow bleed can be just as dangerous and just as deadly as a mortal wound.
A crisis plan doesn’t have to be a big undertaking either. Think of a crisis plan like you would a fire extinguisher. In the unlikely event of a fire, you want to know only have a fire extinguisher handy, but know how to use it. In a crisis, your plan will tell you where your fire extinguishers are, such as having copies of important documents stored off-site or having access to account numbers for bank accounts and passwords.
There are also steps you can take in your planning to reduce the likelihood of a disaster happening in the first place or if it does happen, reducing its impact. By understanding the process of crisis planning, you can put proven processes in place that will work for nearly any crisis you could possibly experience.
Yes, you can roll the dice and hope that a crisis won’t strike for years or even decades to come. Some small businesses have evaded one for decades. Others have gotten caught in a wildfire that spread so quickly they were barely able to save themselves, let alone their business’ key records.