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  • Writer's pictureErika Andresen

They're Called Growing "Pains" For a Reason

Business continuity is generally understood to prepare businesses for two things: disasters and disruptions.

Disasters are defaulted to the rare or seasonal natural disaster. Possibly the man-made disasters as well. But disruptions aren’t where people’s minds go to. Disruptions can be both bad and good. Hear me out.

A "bad" disruption is a key piece of machinery not working. A key leader leaving. Supply chain issues.

But a "good "disruption? Overnight popularity. Going viral. Your workload increases exponentially. How is this a disruption, and how does business continuity come into play? If you aren’t prepared, it will mess you up.

If you are a sudden success – let’s say Kieth Lee features you on his TikTok channel – are you ready for it? Will your quality of product and service survive? Will you make shortcuts to help make things move faster? What about the customer service you provide to your existing customers – will it degrade?

There are going to be a series of new questions to face and very little time to test them (if at all). It is almost as if a disaster has hit – same stress, same pressure, same risk but it just feels better because you don’t see a flood. There is a flood, for sure, it’s just not water.

Will you be able to do new customer intake at satisfactory levels? I’ve heard a potential future client of a company venting about not getting a call returned for over 4 weeks, saying “I even left a message saying I’m trying to give you money!” I asked, “If they can’t return your call to take your money, how do you think you’ll be treated as a client?”

If you haven’t prepared to grow, you’ll be in danger of ruining the very thing that got the public’s attention in the first place. Yes, good things can be bad disruptions.

One of my clients who is a solopreneur didn’t think she could do business continuity until she grew. I featured the exchange in my book – which wasn’t originally in my book – on how any business, especially micro-businesses – can do business continuity.

When that statement hit my brain I immediately set out asking my series of questions in the way that I do about the processes and procedures currently in place. Every answer given was met with “Ok, that’s a problem.” Figuring out the weak spots and vulnerabilities made her realize how much work needed to be done. Weeks later, after doing the homework, we re-convened and she listed out all of the changes she made.

The most satisfying part of that exchange was my client saying:

“You know, I didn’t think I could do business continuity until I grew. I now know I can’t do grow without business continuity.”

That was music to my ears. I nearly cried.

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