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  • #966516
    Mat
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    Hello all,

    It might be the pessimist inside of me creeping out but the other day I was thinking about what I would do if my website crashed, or if i was unable to generate any customers from my new advertising campaign I was looking to start. I then decided it was time to write a contingency plan so I could put my mind at ease. As my venture is only at the beggining of its life span I was contemplating putting it in my fresh new business plan. Do many other people have contingency plans and if so what sort of matters do they have in them?

    An interesting matter to consider i believe.

    Thanks,
    Mat

    #1019008
    Jake@EmroyPrint
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    Hey Mat,

    I’ve just read through a few of your posts just now, sorry I haven’t had the chance to introduce myself before now.

    I think it’s always good to have a bit of “moving” money as I call it. It allows me to makeup the shortfall on weeks where I don’t generate enough income to support myself (Thankfully this hasn’t happened, but it’s good just to be safe)

    My website is also backed up every update to 3 locations (My External HD, a friends and the webhost supplied backup)

    Also, my client files are my most important thing. By definition, I always stress to my clients that I don’t offer a secure backup service for their files however I do keep them on file for their convenience. (It’s incredibly easy when they call up and say “Hey Jake, remember those business cards you printed for me a few months ago, I need another thousand). This I store in 4 different locations.

    Your in IT, so I obviously won’t need to elaborate any more on the importance of backing up as I’m sure you’ve heard more horror stories than I have!

    Don’t worry too much about your pessimistic side, everyone has one and you would do well to listen to it. Don’t let it rule your thoughts though, simply listen to what it has to say, take the thoughts on board then simply “file” it back away.

    #1019009
    PerfectNotes-Kathy
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    Hi Mat,

    As well as the stuff covered by Jake, our business plan includes basic contingencies for if the business booms as well as if it bombs. For us, this means having access to other people who can assist with the programming and the technical support sides of the business if we have too much work for ourselves, as well as access to some work outside the business to help pay the rent in the slow weeks.

    Hope this helps,
    Kathy

    #1019010
    Adam Randall
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    My contingency plan is the dole, thats the worst that can happen.

    #1019011
    THE SALES WARLORD
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    Contingency plans are good.

    Exit strategy is better.

    If you have an objective to create x in y amount of time – what then?

    Will you sell?

    How?

    To whom?

    At what value?

    Plan to succeed, and by all means have contingency plans.

    Exit strategy may never be implemented.

    You may decide in 2 years when you are turning over X and profit is Y and you are 80% hands off you dont WANT to sell!

    But if you create a company you COULD sell…

    :)

    #1019012
    King
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    Contingency means in the event of…

    Don’t forget, one of the most important parts of any business is documenting the processes. That is what franchises are based on, processes.

    Now if you suffer an illness/accident….then could someone step in and do what is needed to keep the business running till you are back on your feet?

    Will they know how to do the data backups even, let alone order fulfillment, banking or the myriad of other tasks…??

    I was discussing this with my wife just the other night about her business.

    #1019013
    John Debrincat
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    Hi Mat,

    Business plans and contingency plans are living things they evolve and change. If you consider your website failing as the worse problem you have then your OK. With out being to pun’y it is a little like really flying solo. Probably the ultimate contingency tool in that case is a parachute.

    My advice is analyse the risks and put in place reasonable tools and mechanism to mitigate as much and as many risks as possible. It is impossible to plan around all risks and sometimes the expense will be greater than the potential loss.

    If you have ever been involved in an activity (flying/gliding, motor racing, diving etc) where your life depends on everything going to plan then you will have some idea what I mean. You analyse each potential issue and associated risk and then you look at the result if that occurs and how to mitigate against it.

    The equipment you use has to be quality and checked. You have to be skilled and certified (maybe certifiable:-)). You have to have the right safety equipment. If possible take along great support. Be aware of what can go wrong and think of (or write down) a solution for each scenario. When something goes wrong learn from the situation and make changes so that you are protected.

    Business risk and personal risk can overlap and you should look at both together.

    Financial issues are important not just because they affect your lifestyle but also because they create stress and stress is a risk all unto itself.

    Financal tools like insurance (professional indemnity, income protection etc) are important for a small business, they can be expensive so weigh up the costs. But insurance is not a contingency and is not mitigating risk so don’t get sucked in to financial protection you don’t need.

    Hope the thoughts help.

    All the best

    John

    #1019014
    nimmysnv
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    Well, I have heard about the contingency plans and it is very beneficial in almost every aspect that requires to get over all the situations in the industry as, this has to be done as far as security concerns so every organization should have these rules maintained.

    Thanks!

    #1019015
    kathiemt
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    I believe it’s important to never rely on just one avenue for anything. One form of back up, one form of advertising, one particular client. Been there, done that. Too easy to get burnt, disgruntled and disillusioned.

    Multiple irons in the fire are much better:

    More than one form of backup of everything in the event your computer dies or is stolen, or something happens in your house or office. I have a laptop, external hard drive and online backup system.

    More than one form of advertising. Website isn’t the only thing – networking is important both online and offline, having a presence on web directories, search engines, articles (if you are good at writing) and so on. Both printed and online – never totally just online or just offline.

    More than one particular client or client type. Things change, fads come and go, technologies are always changing and so do client needs. Ensuring you have a small number of regular active clients means if you lose one you still have the others and it’s easier to replace a smaller portion of your income than the whole lot.

    Forms of contact also important – more than just a phone number, or just an email, or just a website. Make it easy for clients to contact you in several different ways.

    If something should happen to me I do have stuff documented and a printed client list so my husband or other family members know who to contact. I also have a back up team of VAs who can look after things till I’m back on deck.

    #1019016
    Mat
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    kathiemt, post: 22673 wrote:
    I believe it’s important to never rely on just one avenue for anything. One form of back up, one form of advertising, one particular client. Been there, done that. Too easy to get burnt, disgruntled and disillusioned.

    Multiple irons in the fire are much better:

    More than one form of backup of everything in the event your computer dies or is stolen, or something happens in your house or office. I have a laptop, external hard drive and online backup system.

    More than one form of advertising. Website isn’t the only thing – networking is important both online and offline, having a presence on web directories, search engines, articles (if you are good at writing) and so on. Both printed and online – never totally just online or just offline.

    More than one particular client or client type. Things change, fads come and go, technologies are always changing and so do client needs. Ensuring you have a small number of regular active clients means if you lose one you still have the others and it’s easier to replace a smaller portion of your income than the whole lot.

    Forms of contact also important – more than just a phone number, or just an email, or just a website. Make it easy for clients to contact you in several different ways.

    If something should happen to me I do have stuff documented and a printed client list so my husband or other family members know who to contact. I also have a back up team of VAs who can look after things till I’m back on deck.

    Exactly what I was after, a brief rundown of what backups people have. Thanks very much and thank you every one else for replying, a lot to be learnt…

    #1019017
    Avatar Consulting
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    Hi Mat

    Welcome to the strange world of contingency planning.

    I was a Team leader of an Emergency Response Team that attended to critical incidents that happened to my clients. The type of things that can go wrong in business will freak you out, however you need to consider what you will do when it happens.

    It is one thing to have back ups of your files and equipment, but this is not what will destroy your business. Businesses need to have a Continuity Plan that helps the business recover and continue running the business after having a ‘critical incident’ occur.

    For example;

    • What is your plan if you are injured and unable to work
    • What happens if someone charges you for breach of copyright
    • What if your laptop causes a fire and burns your office down
    • What if someone alleges you discriminated against them
    • How will you pay $18,000 compensation when a client gets injured in your office

    These are some of the really big emergencies that can shut your business down on the spot and you need to have plans for. On average you need to spend at least 1% of the value of your business to protect it.

    If your interested have a look at the Black Swan theory – this is why AAMI use swans in their adverts.

    Warm Regards

    #1019018
    kathiemt
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    Great info there Paul. I’d not heard of the Black Swan theory before and didn’t realise there was a reason why they use them.

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