Compass Point Consulting
Picture this: You are a small business owner and you’ve been happily running your business with a group of dedicated employees for the last decade. All of a sudden, tragedy strikes in your family. Your spouse has a stroke, and you have to rush to the hospital to be with him or her. How does the business continue running? Who will your employees look to for answers? What will happen to the business while you’re away, taking care of your spouse? My hope is that no business owner ever has to worry about such a situation, but the reality is that many businesses are affected by such events on a regular basis. The good news is that if your business created an Emergency Management Plan before tragedy struck, the answers to all of those concerning questions about the business would be easily found by your employees, and it would be (mostly) business as usual while you take care of your family. An Emergency Management Plan is just that. A plan that details what needs to happen in the business if there is an emergency that takes the owner or other key leaders away from the organization for an extended time. It should be documented and accessible to your leadership team, so when an emergency does happen, the plan can be put into effect immediately.
Here are a few items to get you started putting together your Emergency Management Plan:
1. Contact the business’ trusted advisors. List the organization’s trusted advisors and how to contact them. This may include your business attorney, accountant, and any other key strategic partners.
2. Notify commercial banker. This would pertain to any business that has any outstanding business loans.
3. Notify any key clients or customers. Giving the clients a heads up that there has been an emergency, but operations will continue, is key. This eliminates any assumptions that the clients may make about the organization and its future.
4. Redistribute work to remaining leaders in the organization. With a good emergency management plan, it should be business as usual even with the owner/key leaders away from the business. Advanced determination of how work is redistributed will allow for business operations to continue without too many hiccups. While we hope the Emergency Management Plan never has to be used, it provides needed solace for business owners knowing that it merely exists.