There’s nothing more valuable to a business owner than cautionary tales. Nobody has the time to learn everything themselves, and nobody has the money to make all the mistakes themselves, so when something happens to someone else, it makes sense to take heed of the lesson.
Hearing horror stories should have businesses thinking of how they would cope in similar situations and perhaps lead to changes in how they would handle them. One such incident occurred in Mason City, which has led to many businesses rethinking their strategies for when crises hit, as well as leading to an evaluation of what might happen to their own business in the event of something that can’t be predicted or specifically planned for.
Heavy rains cause roof collapse in Mason City at historic Mohawk Square pic.twitter.com/qtdU1RsR1q
— NorthIowaToday.com (@NorthIowaToday) May 19, 2019
Disaster Strikes Businesses in Iowa
Mohawk Square in Mason City faced its own set of problems when its roof caved in. Heavy rainfall led to the collapse, which affected the many businesses located inside the building. What makes this worse is that the businesses were critical to many people as Mohawk Square housed Cerro Gordo Department of Public Health, DHS, the Mason City Housing Authority and Legal Aid.
The businesses need to be operational as soon as possible, with many being relied on to provide constant support. So, a roof collapse at their premises is the last possible thing the business would want. While the sentiment inside the building is one of relief that this happened while nobody was on the premises, the story provides a cautionary tale for many other businesses and perhaps will inspire some contingency plans.
How to Plan for Force Majeure
So, what can you do to ensure you are prepared for something like this – or a force majeure? Most contracts with clients have a stipulation that you have leeway for working with them should something out of your hands occur. But, if not, it should be added to all working contracts.
You should also consider the business insurance you currently have. Some general liability insurance may protect you from events such as this, but you need to ensure you have all eventualities covered with insurance, especially when renting. Disruption to services is also something that would arise in the event of a catastrophe such as this, so you should have contingencies in place for how you can get back to business as soon as possible. Crisis plans should be part of the internal communications, and crisis strategy should be rolled out to the public through press releases and social media, should this be necessary.
Preparation is key, and no matter what is thrown at you and your business, you should be prepared in order to get back up and running as soon as possible. But, while some disasters seem inevitable, how we handle them is down to us and how well we prepare ourselves. Cautionary tales such as the roof collapse in Mohawk Square reminds us of how business disaster can strike anyone.