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With natural disasters in every corner of the country – one can’t help but think of the impact to all those 1000s of businesses… Those who toiled for years – building their enterprise – to have it dashed from them… or maybe not completely but impacted none the less.

Some years ago RedBalloon invested in a business continuity plan. The leadership team posed the question ‘what if this building was not here – could we still operate?’ We are an online business – we should be able to. At the time it seemed kind of expensive and redundant – didn’t we have more important things to work on – like building the brand, and winning more customers.

Logic prevailed – the leadership team said it would be more damaging for our brand long term if we had an interruption to business. (Every time they did a SWAT analysis – threat of disaster was always on the list.)

Some days don't go quite to plan

Alas we had our own little disaster. On Saturday during the heat wave in Sydney – a water pipe burst upstairs in the kitchen and for more than 48 hours water was running through the ceiling, walls, under the building – through our storage & production facilities… we were drenched.

The first team member to arrive on Monday morning got quite the shock…  GM Jemma put the disaster plan in action. Our phones were duly transferred and new workstations set up. Our customer experience team was off air for 17 minutes.

Our printers and paper stock completely sodden…. Again we had a back up – using technology (and calling on our emergency stock that we hold off site)… we visited the local printer to get production out on time… there were helium balloons going out of the office mid morning – as usual… no customer would ever have known.

We still have damp feet – and the office is chaos – we are still in production, we have the professional flood people in now drying everything out. Customers and the brand were not impacted. And the team pulled together to move a ton of sodden paper and furniture.

The majority of stock is held off site.

This I suppose is the case of when the ‘important’ matters… investing in the things you hope you will never need to use… but when you do – being so grateful that you have the team and the procedures to keep things going.

I’m sure there is a proverb for this – ‘a stitch in time saves nine’ perhaps?

Thanks again team – for your leadership and foresight.

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