I agree to Idea Challenging the 'Why' of Small Business Preparedness
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I disagree to Idea Challenging the 'Why' of Small Business Preparedness


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Topic 2: Understanding and Communicating Risk Exposure and Costs »

Challenging the 'Why' of Small Business Preparedness

Why is it that so few small businesses prepare for emergencies? Or is that even the right question... Maybe the question should be more along the lines of, Why do so few small businesses focus on preparedness in response to the avalanche of messages prompting them to do so?I submit that the breakdown is not with the business owner not wanting to prepare but more so with the way in which the message of preparedness is structured. Currently, the predominant message within the preparedness effort seems to be, Either develop a preparedness plan or your business will probably not survive the next disaster. Though this is true, the message itself is based on inciting a fear response from the receiver. If you don't follow this advice, something bad is going to happen. In working with business owners and entrepreneurs through the past eight years, I have found them to be decision makers, willing to take a significant risk in order to make their dreams a reality and pretty much aware of the consequences of failure. I believe that we need to challenge the prevailing fear-based message currently being used to promote small business preparedness and focus more on an incentive based message. Leaders within a small business do not respond as readily to a message of fear as they do to one that appeals to their ability to grow their business. More discussion available within the blog entry, http://www.tpargroup.com/2014/01/16/small-business-preparedness/ .

Submitted by in Jan 2014

Comments (5)

  1. Turnover is a big issue...have seen ERT programs 'gutted' by a new VP that does not want to spend money for training on people that may leave.
    in Jan 2014
    1. This may be true but turnover of key people is usually not. Those key people should be responsible for their ares. A substitute for each should be in place as a back up. The principle should also have a substitute. A written simple plan should be available to all. I have advocated insurance discounts if their plans meet certain procedures and requirements. Money always works better as a motivator.
      in Feb 2014
  2. Businesses play a key role in building resilient communities. As businesses consider what they need to do to survive a disaster or emergency, as outlined in their business continuity plans, it is equally important that they also consider what their customers will need in order to survive. Without customers and employees, businesses will fail. The ongoing involvement of businesses in preparedness activities paves the way to economic and social resiliency within their communities.
    in Apr 2014
  3. How many businesses are doing the right thing and havign backups to their daily, weekly, monthly, yearly business records in multiple locations... I would say that many are. Yet the concept of doing other preparations for business continuity can possibly be based on the cost vs benefit if nothing happens. Should something disastrous happen they will be all set, but if nothing happens is there a cost benefit to the preparations? Typically not - but now here is a concept that may or may not fly... allow businesses who can prove (with physical presence, supplies, etc) that they are prepared to obtain a form of rebate on those expenses over a specific period of time - as long as they are maintained
    in May 2014
    1. Digital backup solutions are very affordable even for businesses, and generally this would fall under "the cost of doing business". Making it IRS Tax Deductible if it isn't already (I'm an extremely small business so my exposure to IRS rules and regs is, well, pretty much nill at a gross annual revenue of $500).

      Business Continuity isn't hard, and doesn't have to be expensive. It just has to be a priority. Unfortunately, for businesses of any size the priority is not staying in business 5, 10, or 100 years, it's profit, and the maximization of that.
      in May 2014

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