Sometimes, strategy takes second place to survival. It’s easy to forget risk planning. Below are some tips to keep serving customers when crisis strikes.
"If you don't invest in risk management, it doesn't matter what business you're in, it's a risky business." – Gary Cohn
Sometimes, strategy takes second place to survival. Companies I’ve worked for and worked with have had pipes break, gas lines leak, power out for days, or a hurricane tear off the roof. How can you survive these risks and similar risks your company faces?
At a minimum, have a set of procedures for all your critical processes saved in a location that you can access in an emergency. Multiple people need access to this. At the last financial institution I worked at, we used a service that we could access via the internet from a computer or our phones.
In a disaster, your employee's primary concern will be taking care of their families. Taking care of your business will be a distant second. Find ways to help them take care of their families so they can then turn their attention to helping your company.
Cross-train your staff. Preferably two people other than the primary person should be trained. This saves time in case of employee emergencies. Update procedures and save the backup securely.
Talk through or conduct a simulation of your backup procedures once a year. We did this at the financial institutions I worked at. A step-by-step backup procedure simulation gives insight into the missing elements of the procedures.
Technology is constantly evolving and conducting annual tests identifies where backup procedures need to be updated for technology. Old technology or faulty systems can hinder important procedures that can affect business operations.
I've been responsible for buying insurance at multiple companies. A good independent insurance agent is essential. They are experts at pricing and policies. Independent agents aren't captive to a single insurance company so they can move your policy to another provider when it's in your best interests.
I wish you readiness for risks so none of them stop you. I wish you well.
- Rob Stephens
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