What do cyclones have to do with your business?

by Teena Hughes
in Blog

What do cyclones have to do with your business?

What do cyclones have to do with your business?

Let’s be honest here, I’m not used to ever being near a cyclone.

Until now.

They’re calling it “ex-tropical Cyclone Debbie” because it swept through Hamilton Island off the north east coast of Australia, and then spun itself into a whirling dervish on the mainland, heading inland (due west).

After wreaking havoc over the past few days, it slowed down and started heading south east, which includes my part of the east coast of Queensland.

I’m glad I don’t have to take the Car Barge to the mainland – the usually idyllic 10-15 minute journey would feel like a rain and windswept tidal wave which might sink the usually sturdy-looking Barge — and I wouldn’t enjoy that one bit!

Luckily we’re only having torrential rain on our little island, but the mainland has roads closed, creeks and rivers flooded, schools and universities closed, and the local Government is sending text messages to every resident in the database with a mobile phone listed.

This is a reminder of the power of keeping in touch when there’s an emergency.

It’s also a reminder to keep a large plastic container (in a central location in my house) filled with torches, batteries, candles, matches and anything else worth considering. If trees start falling and breaking power lines, the fridges and freezers will be filled with food and we won’t have power to cook any of it.

Or make coffee in my espresso pot ๐Ÿ™

But wait! I remember I did bring a little gaz camp stove with me, so if I’m desperate I can at LEAST make an espresso or latte – yay!

This makes me think of everyone’s business – your business – and whether you’re prepared for emergencies.

When the power goes out, we can’t use laptops or phones when their batteries die. So what will you do faced with no electricity if you end up in a situation like this? Panic? Have withdrawal symptoms? Or do something clever and productive?

It might be time to dust off that pen and pencil, find the old notepad and go back to the in th ways of writing stuff down ๐Ÿ™‚

When the power goes out, there might be a lot more ramifications than you’ve thought of before, so this is a good time to write down anything to do with your clients and business which might be affected by an emergency like the loss of electricity.

Here’s my suggestion — make a two-column list:

  1. in the first column, write down each of the potential emergencies or dangers which could occur and affect your business
  2. in the second column, write down the matching solutions you can prepare in advance, or be aware ofย  to avoid too much down time, delays, etc
    • for example, some of your clients and potential customers might also lose access to the internet, but others may not, so is it worthwhile putting a message on your website (perhaps at the top of each page) explaining about the potential down-time, and how you can be contacted? Of course this won’t help EVERYone, but it might help some
    • alternatively, does it make sense to have all your clients on a phone ‘list’ for text/SMS? if so, set that up in advance so you can contact them straight away
    • is it worth sending a regular/quarterly email to all clients based on “what happens in an emergency if you can’t access our website” — something they can print out and have in case of emergency
    • what other options/solutions can you think of? make a note of them of consider implementing them in advance of any potential issue or down time.

It’s also extremely important to have this kind of information documented in your Business Plan (which you should be reviewing and altering every 3-6 months to keep it up-to-date).

Got any tips you’d like to share about your thoughts or what you’ve decided you can do to help prevent this from being a huge issue?ย  I’d love to hear from you, so feel free to drop me a note in the Comments box below – many thanks!

Ciao ciao for now,

Teena signature

Teena!

 


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