Disasters: They are Life Changing. In More Ways than One...
September 23, 2011
by Yvonne DiVita @lipsticking & #smallbiz
I'm not a disaster recovery expert, by any means. But, I know about disasters. Little ones, anyway.
I lived through the ice storm of 1991 in Rochester, NY - two weeks without heat or lights, and no school. I didn't have a business, so it was an inconvenience, more than anything else. At the time, I was a stay-at-home mother, so...when the rest of the neighbors went back to work, within a few days, I was in charge of the kids. I remember waking up every morning thinking, "Today, today the power will come back on and the kids will go back to school." Lucky for us, we shared a generator with our next door neighbor, so we had some heat and electricity - enough for our refrigerator and to run the microwave occasionally. And one light, at night.
That's minor compared to the disasters making the news today. Earthquakes, tornadoes, tsunamis, you name the horror Mother Nature can fling at us, and there is likely someone you know who has experienced it, or will in the future.
Disaster recovery is a science all its own. It was around before our ice storm and throughout all the disasters we read about in the news today. But, do you take it seriously? I know I haven't. I know I should.
How do you get Back to Business As Usual, after a disaster? After reading this article, I am taking a more serious look at the necessity of disaster recovery and preparedness. It goes beyond saving your life - which is key. It goes beyond saving your pets - something else many of us are committed to. It goes to rebuilding your future and not allowing the fear or worry to shut you down.
As the article states, natural disasters have created the "...emergence of a brave new business world." Yes, it stems out of the horror of 9/11 but it is also compounded by all the other disasters we see in the news, every day. We have learned, I hope, that we are a global village. We have learned, I hope, that we are all connected, in so many ways - Japan may seem far removed from South Dakota, but in today's social media world of immediacy and international sales, it's just around the corner.
What do you have planned for the next disaster? Not just for you and your family and your home - what about your business? What about the businesses you frequent, whether online or in person? What will happen to them and if they do not have a disaster plan, what will happen to you? Where will you shop?
This little blurb from "Are We Back to Business As Usual" really hit home for me, how about you?
“It was transformative for me personally,” says Ahlers, owner of Ahlers Designs, a Pawtucket, Rhode Island, designer of personal gifts. “I had family members who were very close to people who worked in the towers.”
The effect on Ahlers’ business was also telling. Up until 9/11, she’d had a number of longtime customers in Manhattan. “They dried up, fizzled, closed. They were some of my best accounts,” says Ahlers. Another bedrock of Ahlers’ work suffered, too — business in airport gift shops atrophied as jittery travelers avoided flying. “It was something like a perfect storm.”
Ahlers adjusted her business model away from gift shop conformity to a greater emphasis on custom work. She monitors her product line and puts far more effort into marketing than she did prior to 9/11, when customers and profits seemed almost a given. Says Ahlers, “I think 9/11 has forced all of us to work a lot smarter.”
I believe in working smarter. I believe in becoming innovative - I believe necessity is the mother of invention. I believe change is good.
What do you believe? Visit the article and share your thoughts. How do you think you'd handle a disaster? How HAVE you handled one?
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