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Minimize the Risk Within Your Business

Nov 18, 2007
So you have effective business management planning and you can identify what variables pose a threat to your business. No what? Take action! Business management planning does not stop with the plan.

Magical elves will not come out at night and put even the best plans into action. That is up to you to do. This may not be something taught in business school or at the premier business management planning seminars but it should.

As with everything else in life, when you identify a potential problem, you take action to minimize the risk of the action actually happening. If you live in an area where it rains a lot and you have a basement that leaks, you either call the basement repairman to fix the leaks and prevent further flooding or you simply do not store things of value in the basement. The same practice works in business management planning or more specifically, crisis management.

With the different variables that businesses face on a daily basis, prevention can save dollars, production time, and even lives. Lets use the example of a computer virus that an individual with not enough to do sends to millions of Internet users worldwide. This virus has the capability of crippling systems and deleting computer hard drive information in seconds with the push of a button. Do you have the adequate business management planning for crisis management in place? Can you prevent this virus from crashing your system?

As a member of a very successful business that is current with the information technology practices, much of what you do is on the computer with online access. You use e-mail to correspond with clients. You maintain a website to get your product out to the world. You are computer savvy, as they say.

Within the office, you have software that employees use daily for all sorts of business functions. Your payroll specialist uses a program to manage employee information and payment data. The accountant saves all business related monetary exchanges in files on the server. The receptionist schedules the CEO's meetings in a computer-based calendar.

The answer to the afore mentioned question is yes. You can prevent this from crippling your company. The simple action of installing firewall protection and staying on top of computer related disasters and preventative measures available can save your company. Crisis management demands action to minimize the risk.

Handling a computer virus, though potentially devastating, can prove to be a minimal crisis when compared to other disasters that your company may face. Can you handle those as well? Reviewing your disaster plan and taking action to minimize the risk of those disasters will help you handle those as well.

What about natural disasters, you ask. There are things that you are able to do right now that will help to minimize the risk when those disasters strike also. Crisis management actions to reduce risk can are available in almost all types of business disasters.

Take the example of the natural disaster called the earthquake. Suddenly the walls rumble. The foundation cracks. The lights flicker and then go out. People race through the office in sheer panic. There is falling debris. In the aftermath, two employers sustain broken limbs after fellow employees accidentally trample them to avoid injury themselves. Business production is at a standstill due to destruction of the building and lack of funds to relocate the business. Is this destruction preventable?

While the earthquake itself is not preventable, the office panic and aftermath are absolutely preventable. You can minimize the risk by taking several actions before the earthquake is even a blip on the seismologist's radar. Including crisis management in your business management planning will help you.

Have an earthquake contingency plan in place for your employees so they know exactly what to do in the event of an earthquake. Practice the plan so that is more routine and the chaos level among employees reduces.

Invest in earthquake insurance if you own the building where your business operates. If you do not own the building, research what your options are to protect the financial investment you have in the building.

Always have a back up location to continue business. Though your world may halt for a few moments in time, the rest of the world keeps moving.

Think outside of the box and take actions that may help save your business from disaster. It is easier than what you think and worth more than you will ever imagine.
About the Author
Eric Reed is a Principal consultant with Integrated Global Business Solutions. Eric has implemented many customized consulting strategies for clients ranging from small to mid-sized businesses to Fortune 500 companies. For more information visit http://www.igbsinc.com.
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