Adapting to Change with a Contingency Plan


Today’s business landscape is constantly changing. To stay competitive, business owners and managers need to be able to effectively anticipate and adapt to unexpected events. Like the chameleon that physically changes to adapt to its environment, businesses need to embrace uncertainty and plan and prepare for events that may impact their ability to successfully operate.

Contingency planning is a means of preparing and coping with the uncertainty inherent in owning or managing a business. It can be a difficult task to ask the correct “what-if” questions and have the right answers for them. Having a strategy in place for dealing with unanticipated events and challenges helps you maintain a level of control in what could be a hectic, chaotic time.

Although developing a good plan may seem like an overwhelming task, here are five steps to get you started on the process:

  1. Assemble a team and brainstorm all the things that can go wrong with your business.
  2. Determine key events that would set your contingency plan in motion.
  3. Consider when the critical event could happen and what actions should follow in order to handle the situation.
  4. Keep your plan in line with your business and make sure it is economically feasible.
  5. Communicate and rehearse and keep all of your employees in the loop.

Accepting that things sometimes don’t work out as expected is the first step. Rapidly changing to respond to changes in your environment, like the chameleon, means you have to be proactive about contingency planning.  Take the steps today to ensure a quicker and more effective recovery tomorrow.

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