Dealing with Disaster in Business

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Dealing with Disaster in Business

(Adapted by Dominic Butler from

It’s the nightmare scenario that keeps business owners awake at night. Disaster strikes out of the blue and everything that you have worked so hard to build is ruined.

It’s important that you have a contingency plan in place should anything go drastically wrong.

Business continuity is absolutely essential in times of crisis.

If your clients sense that something has gone seriously wrong, they are more likely to start to panic and move their business elsewhere.

Here are just a few things you can do to give yourself peace of mind.

Cloud Backup

In days gone by, an office fire would be the ultimate disaster for your business.

All your important files would go up in flames, and it would be a nightmare to try and get things up and running again.

As everything is now stored online, the modern equivalent is a virus infecting your system and everything being wiped out.

You should make sure all your most important data is safe by using a cloud-based backup system.

This has the added advantage of making your files easily accessible from wherever you are in the world.


As a business owner, there are various different types of insurance that you can get to keep yourself covered.

You can also get specific disaster insurance to cover damage to your business caused by natural events.

It’s worth consulting with the experts to make sure you are protected should the worst happen.

Insurance also serves to give you peace of mind, so you are free to operate without major worries.

Prepare Your Employees

A huge number of top performing businesses regard their employees as their number one asset. Even if it doesn’t seem like a disaster is likely, you should keep them prepared.

You will need to rely on them to keep your business running in times of crisis, so it’s essential that they are well briefed. You may even want to have a guidebook created so they have something tangible that they can refer to.

Have a Contingency Plan


In the event of a crisis, you need to know which parts of your business are essential for its successful running.

These are the functions that you will need to keep going when times get tough.

If you are unable to continue running your business from the site it’s at now, establish a secondary location.

When you are in a crisis, the most crucial thing is that your business continues performing as normal.

Save Your Revenue

When you get paid by a client, you should put ten percent into a high interest savings account and leave it there.

When it reaches a certain amount, you should then get some advice from an investment specialist who can tell you what the best thing to do with it is.

Now that you have started to build up a cash reserve, you can have peace of mind that if you start to have any issues, you have some capital in reserve ready to reinvest in your business.

Learn from Your Mistakes

Whether or not you manage to pull your business back from disaster, you should always learn from what has gone wrong so that it doesn’t happen to you again.

Work out what you could have done differently, and make sure you make the necessary adjustments to your business model.


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Exercise 1:

Match the words in bold from the article with their synonymous meanings.


  1. Out of the blue
  2. Contingency plan
  3. Up and running
  4. Wiped Out
  5. Covered
  6. Well briefed
  7. Tangible
  8. Adjustments
  1. Backup plan
  2. Destroyed
  3. Given clear instructions
  4. Without warning
  5. Changes
  6. Physical
  7. Working correctly
  8. Insured



Exercise 2:

Complete these sentences with the words in bold from the article.

  • The marketing team seemed to have been…………………………………..
  • The police could not convict the suspect without any ……………………. evidence.
  • Serious ……………………… were made to the contract before an agreement was reached.
  • Unfortunately, the car was not ………………. against natural disasters.
  • After the fire, we were amazed at how quickly the factory was ……………………………………..
  • Some people think that humanity will be ……………….. due to climate change.
  • It is a good job that Mr. Smith has a ………………….. , because his current business is failing.
  • The economic was not …………………………. but many people were still surprised.


Exercise 3:

Match the two sentence halves to make complete phrases:


  1. Make sure that the whole team is…
  2. His wedding proposal was…
  3. We were so relived to discover…
  4. After the storm we realized that…
  5. The computer system should be…
  6. Adjustments were made to the whole process,
  7. I cannot believe in a god without…
  8. We would have lost everything…
  1. that the company had a contingency plan.
  2. up and running by next Tuesday.
  3. some sort of tangible proof.
  4. totally out of the blue.
  5. well briefed before the meeting with the clients.
  6. a lot of our work had been wiped out.
  7. as it was not working efficiently.
  8. had the house not been insured.

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