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Disaster Recovery Plan – Do You Have One?
July 7, 2010 — Steve Thompson
“Successful people are not people without problems. They are people who respond quickly and positively to their problems. They think them through in advance; they anticipate them.”
- Brian Tracy
If you’re a small business owner you’re the guy who has to hold the reins when disaster strikes. If you’re a manager in a big corporation, you’re the guy who has to hold the reins when disaster strikes.
I mentioned last week that BP hasn’t really impressed the world with how they deal with disaster. Actually it seems like the world is pretty hard on someone when they screw up. The thing is, when things go wrong, there is a tendency to look for the responsible party. If things keep going wrong, then the responsible party can continue to receive the blame.
Brian Tracy is a firm believer in Murphy’s Law, but he also doesn’t take it as an excuse to let things get out of control.
If your company experiences a disaster, you need to be able to take the helm and drive through it.
The best way to be able to react quickly to disaster is to have plan in place.
What kind of disasters might happen in your business?
Physical disaster – this could include anything from a breakdown of processing equipment to the whole factory burning down.
Financial disaster – a big investment loss, a sudden increase in expenses (I’m specifically thinking of flying helicopters and the price of gas here, but there could be so many other things), legal action/taxes.
Personal disaster – a situation can arise where you aren’t able to work, be it physically or mentally.
Any of these events can be obviously debilitating to a business. But if you have a plan in place then at least you can maintain some decorum while you scramble to get back on board.
At the very minimum, you can deliver your disaster plan to customers and staff to let them know you’ve already figured out what to do. Even if they don’t approve, at least you still look like you’re in control.
How do you create a disaster plan?
First off: Apply Murphy’s Law to all your systems and processes – to every aspect of your business. Consider every possible disaster and then some.
Next: Determine safe stop points. Like Toyota’s Kaizen – when someone on the production line sees something go wrong they can stop the system right away. Where are your safe shut down points?
Finally: Have alternatives at the ready. If your best o-ring supplier suddenly closes shop (yeah – that’s another Toyota story) you’d best know where else to get them. If your delivery van suddenly dies – know a dependable and affordable courier to take over.
A Brian Tracy trained FocalPoint Business Coach can help you plan for disaster – or, if you’re already knee deep, a Business Coach can give you the guidance and support you need to get back on track.
If you take the time now to be prepared for what could go wrong – then you can maintain some amount of grace when the poop hits the prop.
“Character is much easier kept than recovered.”