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Your Business Needs a Backup Plan, Here’s What You Need to Know

 

Businesses fail because of things the owner did not foresee. This is true 100% of the time. No one starts a business for the sake of watching it burn. They start because they want to succeed. They try to plan for all the contingencies they can think of, and prioritize the ones for which they can control. Obviously, no one has a contingency plan for space aliens crashing through the roof of their place of business. Check your insurance riders to see if that’s covered.

The way we do contingency planning is we figure out the most likely things that could go wrong, and come up with solutions for dealing with them. The next step is to put those solutions in place so that if the bad thing happens, we can implement the contingency plan and keep right on working.

It might not be enough to have a good contingency plan B. You might need a plan C for those aspects of your business that are mission critical. If you haven’t got a solid plan for averting disaster, here are a few areas where you might want to go ahead and get started:

Power Failure

Sometimes, the power goes out because of line damage. The only thing you can do is make that very sad call to the power company and get the recorded message about how they are aware of the problem. If you don’t have a generator, you are out of luck. But if they are not aware of the problem and insist that everything is okay on their end, you can be pretty sure that the problem is not them. It’s you. And you need to do something about it.

If the problem happens to be in only one part of the house, you need to find an expert who can deal with a partial power outage. You might have to call around to find someone who has immediate availability. This can usually be done with ease by using one of those services that quickly connect you with a service provider.

When the problem is with the power company, you should have a backup generator, especially if you are running your business from your home. Sometimes during inclement weather, a power outage can last for more than a week. Your business can be completely obliterated with that much unscheduled downtime. So be sure to have a backup plan for power outages, especially the ones that require an electrician to come out to the house right away.

Financial Backup

This is one of those cases where you really do need a plan C and maybe even a plan D. Business financing seldom goes smoothly. You might get rejected for a business loan due to your personal creditworthiness being subpar. You might be over extended. The loan officer could just be having a bad day.

A common problem is that the entrepreneur does get exactly the loan the asked for, only to discover that it wasn’t enough. Even the most careful business planner fails to anticipate every possible contingency. That is why you need a contingency fund. You need more money than what it takes to get the business operational. Just enough is never enough.

Computer Backup

By now, everyone knows they should have some sort of backup plan for their computer. The way to defeat ransomware is to have a good backup. What people don’t consider is that their computer hardware might malfunction to the point that your system is rendered unusable, and at the worst possible time. That is when you realize you need a backup computer.

When tech companies like Apple and Google do presentations featuring live demos, they have backup computers right there on stage so that if something goes wrong with the first one, they just shift to the one next to it and keep moving forward as if nothing ever happened. That is what you need for your business.

You don’t need two multi-thousand dollar machines. Your backup could be as simple as an iPad or Chromebook. The key is that you have to be able to perform the essentials of your job on your secondary machine so that if something goes wrong with your main box, you have a way of moving forward.

You cannot anticipate the catastrophe that will cause your business to go under. But you can cover a lot of those contingencies by having a backup power source, backup finances, and a backup computer.

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