Paul Hargreaves: Be prepared for the worst
Some good old-fashioned advice this week – and you should take this seriously from me as someone who is risk averse. I am minded to talk about Disaster Recovery this week in the light of the awful news about Marigold Heath Foods, whose warehouse burned down a couple of weekends ago. They lost absolutely everything and the thoughts and prayers of all of us in the industry are with them at this very difficult time. The fire made the national news and was so intense that it also impacted surrounding businesses.
We all have our trials and tribulations in business, and we have had a few ourselves this summer following our move to a new warehouse in order to nearly halve our carbon footprint. Fortunately, our issues are almost over, but clearly, they were nothing on this scale and I was trying to practice the discipline of being thankful every day this summer in the light of some small adversity and a fire like this puts everything in balance.
Often, we think in business that disaster couldn’t happen to us. Well it can and we should be prepared. As I say I am not one that prepares for the worst as I always think the best will happen, but when there are many other people dependent on you as an employer it is irresponsible not to have some decent insurance in place. Most businesses are under-insured, check yours now. We are insured for our gross profit for a year, which would enable us to pay our employees and all our other costs for a whole year.
One of the best things I ever did at Cotswold Fayre was to get rid of all our IT servers and put everything in the cloud. Not only does this mean that everything is backed up every day, but also that if the worst was to happen, everyone with a PC or laptop would be up and running immediately – there is no reason not to do this these days. Even if disaster doesn’t’ strike it brings huge peace of mind.
Finally, have a plan. What are you going to do if your business was flooded or burned down one weekend? Have a manual you can go to and keep it off-site. Be aware of office, kitchen or warehouse space you could quickly move into and ensure other members of your team are aware too. After all that relax and enjoy the rest of the week!