How prepared are you?

Earthquakes pack a powerful reality punch. Standing in various doorways, calling kids out of bed, feeling the ground rolling under your feet and watching things fall over, while every hanging thing sways dangerously back and forth, reminds one very abruptly of one’s mortality. It is doubly sobering to then see how lucky you have been when pictures show houses looking more like a war zone with roads and railway lines bent and torn.

99.9% of the time health and safety messages are a boring formality. It is that 0.1% of the time when it goes wrong that makes us realise why we are constantly trained. Whether it is “Drop Cover Hold on” or doing our computer back ups, getting appropriate insurance – the boring details can become the lifesaving actions.

When the unexpected happens, preparation reduces the negative impact.

How prepared are you?

Many of us have plans to succeed. There are countless articles, books, training sessions and talks that discuss the “secrets to success”. One of the favourite often included is that “failing to plan is planning to fail.” While often used in a strategy sense to plot one’s next step in ‘world domination’, there lies with the quote the wider implication of planning for more than just success.

Some thoughts I have had and some you might like to ponder:

Could your business do without you if you were hit by the proverbial bus?

Could your business survive if you needed time off to connect with, and maybe even care for, a family member that suddenly was on death's door?

If a virus wiped out your entire computer systems how easily could you recover? Do you do back-ups? Have you checked recently that the back-up’s actually work?

Could you cope if your best employee left? Have you ever done a skills gap analysis? Do you have a training plan in place? A succession plan? An exit plan?

If you lost your biggest customer what impact would that have on your business? Consider this question: Are you currently treating your best customer(s) as well as you would be prepared to treat them, if they said they were about to leave?

If your key supplier went direct to market or started working through your main competitor, what would you do?

Like an earthquake, we never want these instances to occur – but they sometimes do. Are you prepared? Have you given any thought to what you would do in the above circumstances – or the many like them (challenges to your IP, lower cost imports, economic downturn, war, fire, personal and health challenges)?

Success in business involves more than just planning for success. As you review this year and look forward to next year, do plan to succeed. Do analyse what has worked and repeat it, and analyse what has not worked and tweak, change or stop it. While you are planning, do make the time to consider those scenarios that we never want to happen, so when the world does shake rattle and roll you have some to drop cover and hold on to.