Do you have Fall Back strategies for your business?

Every business needs strategies in place to “fall back” on for the unexpected.  No company is 100% insulated from unexpected challenges that interrupt the normal operations of owning or managing a business…even yours.

This past weekend was the annual “catch up on all the sleep you lost over the last year in one hour event” more commonly referred to the End of Daylight Savings Time.   We fall back and get to enjoy one extra hour of sleep without being late or having to hit the snooze button!  And you have probably been reminded by the media to change the batteries in your smoke alarms at least a dozen times in the past week!

But what about your business?  This is also a great time of the year to review strategies your business has in place to “fall back” on when unexpected events interrupt daily operations. Determining what should be on this list to review and prioritizing it will vary depending on your company.   That said, below are some of the more common interrupters we see businesses expose themselves to without a good plan to fall back on and keep their business running as usual during times of turmoil.

Data Backup:This is one of the most obvious, though surveys still show that less than 50% of businesses are backing up all their data on a regular basis.  There are a lot of options out there.  Several of the on-line cloud storage companies offer 5 GB or more for free.  Just last week I learned of another local business that had a server crash and they did not have a backup of their data.  It is a painful process to go through.  Don’t be next.  Consult your IT professional; don’t be a victim.

Passwords & Keys:  If your business uses password protection for sensitive information, electronic locking devices, business related websites, etc. you must have all those passwords in a secured location.  Do you have the passwords of your employees or administrative controls in place to gain access if needed?  What about duplicate keys or master keys for your vehicles and locks?

Cross-Training:   If two of your key employees unexpectedly submit their resignations tomorrow and announce they are starting their own business the next day, do you have anyone trained to do their jobs?  Insufficient cross-training of employees can severely interrupt the daily operation of a business.  Everyone should have a “fall back” person who is capable of performing their role at a functioning level.  Not an expert, but at least business continues without a significant loss of productivity.

Sales leads:  If you have a sales team, do you have a system in place assuring you have records of all pending deals?  If you use a CRM is your sales team’s data being backed up and synced regularly to a master database?   The day after your top sales person announces they are going to be leaving is not the best time to start trying to review all the business they have in their pipeline.

Insurance:  When is the last time you reviewed your business insurance?  Your personal insurance? The changes in health care are top of mind right now, but don’t forget about protecting your business.  Finding out you are under-insured the day after filing a claim on a policy is never a good thing.  Schedule a meeting with your insurance professional.

This is meant to be a starter list and hopefully it will help you jump start a detailed list, tailored just for your company.   Don’t forget to check the smoke alarms at your business too.  And while you’re at it, test your security system.   Our hope is that you never have to use any of these “Fall Backs” but being prepared in case they are ever needed will provide valuable peace of mind. Please feel free to share your thoughts and add any additional items you think should be included in the space below.

Chris Steinlage Kansas City Business Coach