One you don’t often think about is what would you do if you couldn’t actually get into your premises for 2 weeks, 3 weeks or longer?
Trapped Outside Your Business
What if there was a fire in the next office, one that people died in? What if the fire was in an office that illegally stored highly volatile chemicals? What if the fire exposed a drug smuggling ring?
The fire and police would prevent you from entering your building so they could carry out a thorough investigation. What would you do?
An Enforced Holiday Looks Likely
You can take a holiday if you’re a sole trader. However, what if the fire is during your busiest period? What about your suppliers deliveries – where do they deliver? How do you chase your invoice payments without access to the details?
Paying For A Workforce Holiday
Do you really want to pay your workforce for doing nothing while the fire investigation is conducted? It could drag on for weeks…or longer.
During that time your people will wonder whether you will be able to continue trading, after all there’s no money coming in. Maybe you’re starting to wonder how you can pay wages?
People will start to look round for more secure employment. After all they know as well as anyone how slowly insurance money gets paid out. They’ll wonder if you can survive.
What About The Calls From Prospects and Clients?
While you’re outside clients and prospects may be ringing you up begging you to supply them with your products and services. If you can’t get the calls you’re stuck.
Of course you could re-route the calls to another number. How long will that take I wonder? The first hurdle being who to contact to find out how to do it and how much it will cost.
What Can You Do?
Being unable to get into your premises is a business risk. One that you need to address well before anything happens.
Have you addressed it?
If you haven’t looked into this risk before think about what could happen to your particular business if you couldn’t get in for 1 day, 3 days, a week, 2 weeks or longer.
Then work out how to reduce the impact of the risk.
- Work out whether you could run all your phone system using VOIP and have spare handsets you’ve preconfigured in another building (maybe your home).
- File all your invoices with your accountant as you raise them. Holding a copy yourself on a USB stick.
What Other Risks Can’t You See?
That’s one risk that you may believe is impossible. However, remember that nobody can know whether they’ll be hit by fire, lightning, flood or an aero engine. That’s why we’ve got insurance.
Unfortunately insurance as we said before may not pay out quickly enough to save your business. You need to be proactive in taking steps to close the gaps before it becomes too late.
Other risks you might consider are:
- What happens if a key employee dies, moves or becomes incapacitated
- What if your best supplier goes out of business
- What if your current main source of referrals dries up
- What if phone link is cut
- What if your biggest customer goes to the wall owing thousands to you and the tax people
How You Find, Organise and Assess Business Risks
Get your staff together and brainstorm business risks. Enter them all into a spreadsheet. Get your staff to rate each risk so that you get a vote for each one for likelihood and impact.
Then sort the risks in order of impact and likelihood.
Start on the first risk and work out how best to reduce the impact of it on the business. Then when you’re happy that you’ve done all you can to reduce that risk work on the next, then the next and so on.