Disaster preparedness for the everyday business
Since my conception in 2010 I’ve been a good, upstanding business. I’ve stayed out of politics. I haven’t discriminated against any race or creed. But, because I didn’t support He Who Shall Not Be Tweeted At, I didn’t receive tax breaks and stimulus money to “keep jobs in America.” Not that it matters too much now, but if I did get a bit more money I could have expanded my panic-room into a panic-underground-bunker.
My friends and neighbors used to make fun of me for preparing for the end of days. They used to say my steel doors and window guards were silly and gauche. They used to say I should stick in my lane; that because I sell nutritious smoothies I don’t have the experience to discuss such serious issues. Well, now they’ve been looted and stripped of their cash on hand, basically goners. They’re no longer around to laugh at my purchase of flood insurance or to express incredulity at my “excessive” locust and maniacal dictator policies.
I outlasted these businesses because I prepared for the worst: bankruptcy and liquidation of assets. Of course it’s not completely up to you, some businesses are born to fail. There are some businesses for which nothing can be done. Every day I thank Adam Smith that I was incorporated as a smoothie business and not a luxury steak or vodka brand; it’s companies like those that rarely survive past the initial capital funding. Sure without a strong brand, bankruptcy is always a possibility. But in the time of Truman 2.0, this possibility has grown from baby-hand to Alec-Baldwin-hand size.
Despite El Pollo Loco’s penchant for bankruptcy, omnipresent in his gilded portfolio, not every company will be grabbed by it. To ensure that you’re one of the lucky ones who escape bankruptcy’s death eater-like pull, you will need to shore up your brand in a few key areas.
Probably the most important brand asset is trustworthiness, which is largely gained through transparency. Whether you’re a large multinational bank or a ma and pa strip club, people crave a brand that makes them feel comfortable and carefree while spending their money. In growing brand trust, the ultimate goal is to make your customers feel safe and secure. How this is achieved can be multifaceted but must involve transparency.
Next, you should consider your strength in terms of necessity. As a smoothie business I provide convenient and delicious nutrition. I’ve also stockpiled water in case of disaster. I’m not saying I’ll gauge people if the time comes, but you can bet I’ll be making a yuge profit if it does. In a more abstract sense, you want to fit in nicely with what your customers need. If they need time, make sure your sales flow is smooth and quick. If they need a quiet place to sob uncontrollably, maybe invest in some puppies and up-charge for a comforting nuzzle from man’s best friend.
Lastly, you need perseverance. Being the last business standing is an admirable goal; floating on a small iceberg is better than drowning- just ask the polar bears. Which reminds me, the younger customers are really into saving the environment. Make sure to keep this in mind when growing your brand. It can be a powerful differentiator in a saturated market. Not that the free market will be here much longer, but just in case it is- keep in mind recycling.
Remember that hard times breed suspicion and uncertainty, whether battling against suspicion of your holdings or Our Dear Leader’s, the best bet is to provide transparency, offer a necessity, and endure.
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To make sure your business survives the proverbial end of days, talk to DBC about growing a brand image that defies fate.