Have you built your flood defences!

Many homes and businesses have been flooded this autumn, and many more may be before the year is out.

It is a sad fact that at least half of those businesses devastated by flooding will never recover, and those that do, may take a long time to get back on track.

Before they can repair and rebuild there is often the initial wrangling with the insurance company about how much they should pay out, but there are far wider implications to a business than just putting right the premises.

The problem is not just the flooding itself but the downtime the business experiences whilst the damage is repaired, and the consequences of that downtime.

Do you continue to pay your staff even when they are not able to work and if you do so, how do you afford a wages bill when you have no income coming in? Once even loyal customers have gone elsewhere, how do you persuade them back when you are up and running again?

These are the type of issues many businesses do not consider until forced to do so.

Flooding is one type of business catastrophe but there are many others all businesses should consider and plan for. The scale of the catastrophe will be linked to the importance of the occurrence to the business.

For example, if your business server fails how big an impact would that have on your business? If all your staff need to access information on that server 24/7 it could cost you dearly and clearly in that situation it is vital that you have a backup plan to cover just that type of emergency.

Alternatively, if you are heavily reliant on one employee what would you do if that employee goes off sick for an extended period of time?

Every business has its own ‘flood’ scenario and it is hugely important that you have a disaster recovery plan to mitigate against the worst effects of a catastrophic event. You need to build your flood defenses – first identify the scenarios which could do the worst damage, plan for how you would deal with those scenarios in the most effective way, and ensure you have the ‘backups’ in place.

Of course we hope never to use our backup plans, but at least if we have one in place, we are as prepared as we can be if the worst happens.

Fiona 🙂

And now we are three!!

Billy No Mates just goes from strength to strength.

As well as the Wells and Camberley Christmas Bashes we now also have one in Towchester.

In case you have been snoozing for the last couple of years, the Billy No Mates Christmas Bash is the office party for business owners who work on their own, or just with one other, that they cannot otherwise have (because they have no friends to party with).

For the last five years we have been running the Wells event very successfully at Beah in Union Street, and last year we had over 30 revellers. We are hoping that the two new events this year will grow to be just as successful.

All three events are on 21st December 2012 from 12pm onwards.

If you want to find out more or to book any of these events please go to www.billynomates.info

Plan for a long life!

Yesterday evening I went along to the Mendip Business Women’s Forum evening organised by Anne Challenor-Wood of Convivium Care.

The theme of the event was planning for old age. This is something most of us don’t like to think about too much, and short of making pension contributions, we try to  put it to the back of our minds.

However, it is increasingly clear that in this age of longevity, but questionable state support for the elderly, it is important that we all take control of our own futures.

This does not just mean thinking about the financial issues around old age – although these do take some careful consideration – but also about how we want to live and thrive as we get older.

Many elderly people find that their choices and freedoms are taken away from them because they are forced to rely on the state for their health and wellbeing. By definition the state (which is largely institution based) is most interested in ensuring basic needs are met to budget, but it is much less able to ensure people’s wellbeing and happiness is being ensured.

For this reason it is vital that we make sure our loved ones are clear on what we want and what our thoughts given various scenarios, and that we empower them to carry out these wishes should we not be able to carry them out ourselves through incapacity.

I was particularly interested to hear that the term ‘Next of Kin’ has very dubious meaning in law and ‘next of kin’ often find themselves outside of the decision making process when their loved ones need medical assistance.

Finally, it is vital that everyone have a will, which clearly stipulates who they want to benefit from the result of all their hard work in life. If you do not have a will you have no say in how your estate is distributed – don’t just assume you know how the law works.

We all expect and hope that we will have a long and happy life so it is wise to do everything we can to ensure that we achieve it. Hoping for the best – that someone else will do it for you – is no longer an option.

Fiona 🙂