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horseBefore I share with you part two of my story about my own need to execute the business continuity plan as a result of my sudden and extended illness, I want to thank those of you who reached out to me to express your concern for my welfare.  Thank you.  Truly, I am doing very well and I very much appreciate your good wishes!

As I shared in my last blog post about business continuity planning, the need for a woman in business to plan carefully for a possible unexpected interruption to her business is real.  Things happen.  And when they do, you have no way to go back and say, gee let’s get this or that in place…It’s simply too late.

Oops, The Horse Is Out Of The Barn

As I returned home to recover from surgery, I really wanted to work at least a few hours a day.  With technology available to me…my laptop, a VPN to our server, and my iPhone, I was able to get back to productive days in no time at all.  Even if it was only for a couple of hours each day, it felt good to return to “normal”.

And then it happened again.  Only one week after executing my business continuity plan, I found myself dismayed.  Dismayed at having my laptop fry on a Tuesday.  To be followed the next day by the disappearance of our website.  You see, the company responsible for hosting our website (located in another continent, no less!) encountered a “glitch” and was unable to recover their servers.  Our website was gone.  Gone, as in “blank screen.”  Blank screen for three days.

When I reached our Webmaster, I quickly realized I didn’t have a business continuity plan in place for the situation.  Every woman in business needs to have business continuity plan for their vendors.  And I did not have one in place for our website software vendor!  We had every file on our website sitting on our server and backed up on our Webmaster’s server, however the host, located an ocean away, controlled the website.  It would take us weeks to reconstruct the website and find a host.  So here we found ourselves in a very vulnerable place.  And we had absolutely no way to get the horse back in the barn!

When It Rains, It Pours

After growing extremely dependent on the flexibility of working on a laptop, I was hobbling around my home and forced to use an old PC my husband cobbled together for me.  It was hardwired to the wall…ugh!

Each time I typed in our URL into the world wide web, the screen was blank.  And our Client Care Department was receiving calls asking what happened to our website.  I wanted to cry.  In fact, I did.

Outsourcing Has Truly Changed Everything

I have shared my thoughts in the past about the way business models are changing.  I truly believe a business can be very productive and more profitable if the business owner is willing to take advantage of other companies to serve in narrow roles.  Although my opinion may not be popular, I do not believe outsourcing is a four letter word!

Given my personal experience over the past three weeks, I am now addressing the need for business continuity planning for outsourced partners and other vendors with my clients as well.  I was caught by surprise.  I felt like a dummy!  Never again.  We now have a business continuity plan for every one of our outsourced partners and vendors.  Have you developed your plan?

Learn more about Holly A. Magister, CPA, CFP®, the founder of Enterprise Transitions, LLP, an Emerging Business and Exit Planning firm. She helps entrepreneurs assess, re-align, and accelerate their business with the intent of eventually executing its top-dollar sale.

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