Blog & Company News

Sep 8, 2011

What’s Your Hurricane/Recession/Lawsuit/Corruption Action Plan?

[caption id="attachment_393" align="alignright" width="419" caption="What is your action plan?"][/caption] If you want scrambled eggs and coffee after a hurricane, visit a Waffle House. The restaurant chain’s ability to be up and running after a storm is also a way to measure the severity of storm damage. The fewer menu items being served, the more severe the storm. FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate calls it the “Waffle House Index,” according to The Wall Street Journal. It looks like Waffle House was prepared not only for Hurricane Irene, but also for a zombie apocalypse. The chain had an action plan in place that went above and beyond the recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The takeaway is that it’s good to have a plan and to stock up on ice, generators, and—if you serve breakfast—eggs.

Ensure That You're Insured

You also want to check your business owner’s policy to see whether you’re insured against a flood. While you’re at it, check to see whether you’re insured against other potential liabilities. Acts of nature aren’t the only threats to business. Business owners also have to learn to thrive despite recessions, legal issues, and, depending on their locations, corrupt governments.

Rebound From Recession

In the midst of a recession, you need to know where your business stands. Our article, “How to Assess Whether Your Business is Doing OK,” shows you how to use ratio calculators to answer the questions, “Where are you now and where were you last year (or five years ago)?” Knowing where you’ve been helps you determine where you want to go. You may also be wondering how you could afford to bring on extra staff members if the need were to arise. You’ve seen the numbers. You understand that the unchanged unemployment rate for August may mean that economic recovery could be slower than hoped. This would be a good time to learn about just-in-time hiring.

Be Legalistic

If you think a hurricane or a recession could give your business a pummeling, try getting into legal trouble without having “Inc.” or “LLC” after your company name. Our primer on incorporating explains the benefits you could reap—among them, protection of your personal assets. If for whatever reason you’re ever embroiled in a legal dispute, you’ll want to consider whether arbitration or litigation would better suit your needs. Don’t decide without reading this.

When in Kyrgyzstan …

In 2009, Forbes released a special report, “The Most Corrupt Countries.” If you’re thinking of going international, don’t go to these countries. Unless you think you could handle it. Adrian Gaskell tackled the question, “Can companies thrive in corrupt countries?” in a guest post for the International Business Leaders Forum. Gaskell wrote about research showing that some companies could thrive despite government corruption, and some companies could do so without becoming unethical. The study, “Victim or Victimizer: Firm Responses to Government Corruption,” was published in the Journal of Management Studies. How about you? What are some ways you’ve prepared for disasters of any kind? Please share in the comments below.