TOP
STORIES
 1 of 5
24 High-Tech Halloween Costumes
Former NASA engineer creates creepy Halloween costumes with the simple use of smartphones and tablets.
 2 of 5
Digital Signage Gets Spooky at 14-Acre Sports Complex
ConnectedSign installs 60 HD displays, including 12 interactive digital signage kiosks and a video wall, throughout 14-acre sports facility.
 3 of 5
Inside Atlanta’s High-Profile Security Control Rooms
In conjunction with its hosting this year's recently completed ASIS annual Seminar and Exhibits, media members took a tour of security operations and command centers around Atlanta.
 4 of 5
7 Super-Scary Wiring Scenarios
CI is bringing back our Halloween-themed guide to feeling great about your company's wiring techniques. What's the worst wiring scenario you've encountered?
 5 of 5
ESPN Makes Digital Splash with Eye-Popping SportsCenter Upgrade
Mobile displays, video floor, social media wall among many highlights of the new SportsCenter digital studio DC-2.
Business Continuity: Tips for Unforeseen Interruptions
Prepare for disruptions due to employee health, departures and unforeseen cash flow or liquidity issues.

Article


Work Continuinity
Business interruptions can be unexpected, but they don't have to slow things down.
February 12, 2013 | by Chuck Wilson

This article was originally published on the Inside NSCA Blog. Click here to follow the blog.

Five years ago I learned a valuable lesson on being prepared for business interruptions.

In the summer of 2008 the entire downtown area of Cedar Rapids was flooded, the NSCA office building included. To make matters worse, our off-site storage facility located five blocks away was also flooded. Everything there was a total loss. Most downtown businesses had to scramble to relocate, just as we did. That experience changed the way I look at continuity, disaster recovery and preparedness.

That type of business interruption is rare, but what is becoming quite common is disruption to the business due to employee health issues, departures and unforeseen cash flow or liquidity issues.

Employee Health
More and more, it seems that we are all under a great deal of stress. My theory is this – we all love this industry, we love the technology and we love how exciting it is. It’s so easy to get wrapped up and work day and night burning the candle on both ends with little or no down time. A lack of sleep maybe, but no real stress there… The real stress comes from finding ways to make a profit doing what we love. That’s the real problem.

Departures
Unexpected departures of key people causes both stress and business interruption. It’s hard to plan for these departures, but having a strong bench helps immensely. Map out in your mind who would replace you and the others in case something unexpected happens and then you can relax a little more knowing you have a back-up plan.

Cash Flow
Cash flow is our lifeblood. Expect the unexpected such as multiple jobs landing at once and the bank reducing your revolving line of credit. The way to get out in front of that is by scenario planning. Speak to your banker and maybe even line up a backup plan just in case. Know all about alternative project financing models before you need to use one.

What You Can Do
Here are a few tips that can significantly help. One is getting the “back of house” in order and keeping it in good working order. The back of house is the infrastructure for your company. Activities such as accounting, order processing, contract management, HR, inventory management and service are needed to run smoothly and without your day-to-day involvement. If you get that dialed in it takes a lot of pressure off so you can focus more on leadership, strategy, sales, project management, new business development and so on. If you keep getting sucked into the back office stuff, you get frustrated and stressed out and end up working longer and harder.

The second tip is developing a team of advisors. I know what you’re thinking, “I can do this myself – things are running smoothly. I have every aspect covered and no one knows the company better than me. I can manage this by myself. If something happens, I have it covered.” Saying that would be like me saying the river that runs by the office would never go 31 feet above normal levels. Unexpected things do happen and having a go-to team of advisors when you need help is such a stress reducer.

It will take a few uncomfortable conversations and meetings, but it’s very important to plan for the unexpected. This means a discussion about what happens if you or your partners, senior staff or an entire department leaves the company. It means talking about business interruption insurance, key employee insurance and buy/sell agreements. It means having this well documented and known by your key advisors and senior management.

About the author

Chuck Wilson works with sound at his church, was a sound contractor for more than 20 years, and is now the director of the National Systems Contractors Association (NSCA). Have a business-related question for Chuck? Post it in our Ask Chuck Wilson Forum.
View all posts by Chuck Wilson
Social Bookmark or Share This
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Digg
  • Del.icio.us
  • Yahoo! Bookmarks
  • Google Bookmarks
  • StumbleUpon
  • Technorati
  • Reddit
  • Windows Live
  • LinkedIn
  • Evernote
  • E-mail


  • Latest
  • Blogs
  • Photos
  • Resources
Flashback Friday: 7 Spooky Technologies (Still?) Frightening CIs

For this week's edition of Flashback Friday, take a look at what technologies were giving installers and manufacturers the willies just one year ago. AVB, HDBaseT, 4K, wireless video ... are you any more comfortable with these technologies in 2014?

Western Digital Expands Purple Line of Surveillance Hard Drives
24 High-Tech Halloween Costumes
Audio-Technica Presents ‘How to Mic a Zombie’
10 Cable Commandments of the HDBaseT Installer
View more news
Flashback Friday: 7 Spooky Technologies (Still?) Frightening CIs

For this week's edition of Flashback Friday, take a look at what technologies were giving installers and manufacturers the willies just one year ago. AVB, HDBaseT, 4K, wireless video ... are you any more comfortable with these technologies in 2014?

24 High-Tech Halloween Costumes
Advanced Places Projection in Back, Control Up Front
Digital Signage Gets Spooky at 14-Acre Sports Complex
Inside Atlanta’s High-Profile Security Control Rooms
View more photo galleries
White Paper:
5 Ways to Profit While Saving Clients’ Money on Utilities

How integrators can leverage power management, lighting control, HVAC, uninterruptable power supplies and room management systems increase revenue while offering customers solid ROI.

White Paper: Campuses Banking on Emergency Notification, Upgrades
Webcast: Unscrambling Your AVB, HDBaseT Questions
White Paper: Technology Brief on Control Rooms
White Paper: The Voice: How to Design Emergency Communication Systems with Announcements
White Paper: Digital Signs of the Times
White Paper: A Snapshot of the Onsite Freelance & Contractor Workforce
Webcast: 7 Ways an Integrator Can Save Clients Money on Utility Costs
View more papers or webcasts



Recent comments

I am pretty sure that it wasn’t the amount of flat screens that the player’s had in thier locker…

Posted by JT on 2014 10 31 · commented on
'University of Oregon Builds Football Performance Center for Champions'.

All the words I have on this topic are already there for everyone to judge as they see fit.  The only…

Posted by David Danto on 2014 10 30 · commented on
'An IT Guy’s Guide to ‘Talking Legacy AV''.

I had actually pulled back a comment that I had sent to post yesterday, however in follow up to the last posted…

Posted by Corey Moss on 2014 10 30 · commented on
'An IT Guy’s Guide to ‘Talking Legacy AV''.

I agree with Mr. D’Angelo.  There was a message in here worth discussing seriously, as Mr. Danto…

Posted by Mark Coxon on 2014 10 30 · commented on
'An IT Guy’s Guide to ‘Talking Legacy AV''.