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The Unconventional Guide to Work

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What’s Your Business Plan For The Zombie Apocalypse?

The undead have risen from the earth. And they are after your brains, your business, and anything else they can get their hands on. Are you prepared?

You’ve barricaded the doors and windows, divvied up the emergency rations, and the secretary has even found a chainsaw in the supply cupboard. If only you’d thought to create a disaster recovery plan, you wouldn’t be in this situation right now.

A disaster recovery plan is vital for any business

While the above scenario is pretty unlikely to happen, what if it did? Would you be prepared? What would happen if an earthquake destroyed your office? Or an arsonist set fire to your servers?

When a devastating earthquake hit Christchurch, NZ, in 2011, it flattened the central business district, caused millions of dollars of damage to property and infrastructure, and left 185 people dead. Many business owners were locked out of their buildings for weeks or months while rubble was cleared and damage stabilised. Without the ability to reach clients and continue business, many companies were forced to close their doors.

Take some time today to prepare a zombie apocalypse plan for your business. Here’s what you need to think about:

Communication

In any disaster situation, being able to communicate with employees, key agencies and clients is vital. After escaping any immediate danger and ensuring your family and possessions are secure, the first thing you should do is contact your team.You’ll need to keep everyone informed of what’s going on and what plan of action you’re going to take.

After assessing the damage to your business assets, you can start looking ahead; how will you keep your business running? How has the disaster impacted your clients and suppliers? Can you still keep your clients informed if the zombies have wiped out the phone lines in your city?

Location Independence

The first and most important part of any zombie apocalypse plan is to keep up-to-date records, and to ensure those records can be accessed outside of your office building. It’s no good having all your files stored in your office if your office is buried under 5 feet of rubble.

Location independence is one of the reasons cloud-based software is such an excellent choice for business owners. If you store your job data and contacts on the cloud, you’re able to access them anywhere, from any device, at any time (provided you can get internet service). Since data and Wifi are some of the first services to be restored following a disaster, you should quickly be able to get a full picture of the situation.

Workspace

You might not be able to return to the zombie infestation zone for some time. In most situations, workers will be able to telecommute from their homes or another remote office if adequate equipment and tools are available to them.

You could also pool resources with other business owners in the area to set up temporary backup offices, perhaps in a warehouse or someone’s garage. Companies can work together to establish and share communications and equipment. In a disaster, it’s good if everyone can work together.

Create a plan with other local businesses in case disaster strikes. Set up communication channels and figure out a plan for sharing resources to set up a business “hot spot” in another location, with computers and other equipment to enable you all to keep things running.

Data Recovery

When setting up an office from a remote location, cloud-based software can offer huge advantages. With Xero and WorkflowMax working together, accounting, quotes, workflow, timesheeting, invoices, reporting, and file storage are run – or at least backed up – via the cloud. Your company can quickly and easily get back to work again from an alternative location.

Cloud software can also facilitate collaboration. For example, your clients can check off drafts of a project online from the safety of their bunker. In fact, with cloud-based job management, invoicing and collaboration being a standard part of your operations, it’s possible your clients won’t even notice anything is amiss!

Handing over the Reins

Perhaps you were unfortunate to be eaten alive, but your 2nd in command is the plucky hero type who will undoubtedly go on to survive and repopulate the species. How will he/she be able to manage the business after your gruesome and untimely death?

It’s especially important for small businesses that you are not the only person who knows what’s going on. A disaster isn’t just a flood or a tsunami – it could be a medical emergency that places you out of commission for several months. Don’t leave it too late to train up someone to manage your business; start grooming your successor.

Make Sure You’ve Covered

There probably isn’t an insurance policy on earth that covers you for the zombie apocalypse, but you should definitely make sure your business is adequately insured against disaster. Fire, theft, earthquakes, tsunamis and hordes of bloodthirsty undead can and do happen, and always to people who think it will never happen to them. If you can’t afford to lose your business, then you can’t afford not to insure it.

I suggest getting some advice from a mortgage broker or independent financial advisor, as they’ll help you figure out what you need and find the best price for your budget.

Is your business prepared for the unexpected and the undead?