Here’s the deal – it ended up being pretty cloudy in Lawrence, KS today (no one saw anything) and it is raining here in Jacksonville. I guess what I am trying to say is that Robert Burns was right “the best laid plans of mice and man often go awry.”
I’m sure you can appreciate my distress – how many times have you planned your auction for every contingency and then BAM, something happens. Your live personal property auction is scheduled and a storm pops up and your tents may not be enough shelter, your online auction is disrupted by a power outage (that happened to me as a customer on my first online auction...that’s a story for another day).
So what do you do?
You go to your handy, dandy back-up plan – because as a professional, you will have a back-up plan. You’ll bring all of the personal property inside and hold your auction or you’ll reschedule it if necessary.
Rescheduling an auction may be the problem of the day for you, but what happens if your entire business is threatened? What happens if a tornado, fire or hurricane destroys your building? What happens if there is a death in your staff or what happens if you pass away? What happens if you have a cyber attack? These things are more than event based – they could threaten your entire business, your livelihood or that of your family’s.
I would encourage you to begin today to build a Business Continuity Plan. Include in it everything you might need in the event of an emergency. Start small – collect in one document all of your bank accounts and the name and telephone number of important professionals in the life of your business – your attorney, your CPA, your tax advisor. Have you written down who handles your technology issues so that someone can find it if you are not available? List it in your business continuity plan. List the business names and numbers for your insurance company and the utility companies (seems like a strange request, but you will be surprised how easy this will make things). What papers do you need to make sure you don’t lose? Do you have a copy of your auctioneer’s license or of your incorporation papers?
NAA has developed a Business Continuity Plan and we update it every two years. I keep a hard copy of it at my house; the Board has access to it at all times and my staff has access to it through “the cloud.” We want to make sure that if something happens to our building in Overland Park, Kansas or if something happens to me, that NAA will still be there for our 3900 members.
I’ll be glad to send you a copy of our Table of Contents (just email me at email@example.com). You can use it as you wish – or just start writing things down.
Start developing your own Business Continuity Plan today and if you missed the eclipse today – start planning for the next one in 2024!
Hannes Combest, CAE
NAA Chief Executive Officer www.auctioneers.org