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Deb Neuman Deb Neuman
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Back to Biz - Put a little away today

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The term "Rainy Day Fund" must have been created by a business owner during a hurricane. Take Irene for example - not a lot of business got done in the days before and after she made her way up the east coast. Most business owners I spoke with shrugged their shoulders in surrender to what they had no control over. They did what needed to be done to protect lives and property and rode out the storm.

Irene reminds us that it is so critical to have a disaster preparedness plan in place. First and foremost we must protect lives, then property, then cash flow. She also reminds us that the notion of being an "independent" business owner is a false one. Business getting done depends on the infrastructure being intact (transportation, internet, power). When those things are compromised (anywhere) - so is our ability to conduct business.

Therefore, it's critical to think about what and whom you depend on to operate your business. What would you do if your key suppliers warehouse was flooded and they couldn't get your order out? What would you do if there was a transportation issue that delayed shipping in and out of supplies and products? Could you recover from days and revenue lost due to not being able to operate your business as usual?

Having a plan in place is critical to your recovery and that plan should include a rainy day fund. I know cash flow can be tight, but I highly recommend putting a little away to help you recover from an unforeseen business closure. I remember when Hurricane Bob came to town. I owned a tour boat operation in Bar Harbor at the time. The boat was too big to be hauled out, so we took her to a safe harbor, secured her mooring and crossed our fingers that she would ride out the storm. Thankfully she did - with minimal damage - but our cash flow took a huge hit as Bob made his visit during the height of the summer tourist season. It could have been much worse - no one was hurt, she was intact and we were back in business in a matter of days. I learned a great lesson that day: Mother Nature is unpredictable and her timing is often the worst. You can't control her - you can only control how you will react and recover. I am hopeful you are recovering from Irene and will now put a little away today for your next rainy day.

Last modified on Monday, 12 December 2011 09:37


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