Here are ten contingency planning ideas to cope and compensate the next time business emergencies affect to your organization.

Here are ten contingency planning ideas to cope and compensate the next time business emergencies affect to your organization.

Contingency planning for business is crucial because things happen. Phone systems go down. Staff responsible to open up don’t show up. Storms hit. Servers crash. Popes and potentates visit. The truth is, there are any number of reasons why customer service could get interrupted on any given day.

Emergencies, Contingency Planning and How to Pass the Time When the Phone System Goes Down

contingency planning ideasDo a Google search for lost business productivity and you’ll find a slew of articles on the cost to business in lost productivity due to insomnia, social media, surfing and even the demands of managing one’s fantasy football team. It will make you wonder how American workers ever get anything done at all (ha ha).

While you might be able to address and reduce productivity and sales lost to causes like those, you may not be able to do anything to remedy things when your phone system goes down, your server crashes, or outside causes make it impossible for you to do business as usual.

On days like this, you can wait it out, or you can take action and make the best of things. With the latter in mind, here are ten things you can do when your phones go down to recoup your losses and retain your sanity!

Contingency Planning – 10 Things to Do When the Phones Go Down

Reach Out and Touch Someone

Send notifications out by email, social media and smoke signal – if necessary — to let your customers know that a temporary problem has occurred and you’re working to sort it out. Let them know of any contingency planning options they have for doing business with you. Let them know when they can expect things to be back online, and let them know when they are.

Circle the Wagons

Lock things down and ensure the safety and security of your employees, premises, data, etc. A small problem like a phone system outage is an ideal time to practice your emergency preparedness plan and see how well the plan will work in case of an even worse disaster. Take what you learn to improve your plan for the next time.

Shop Around

A system failure might indicate a problem with the platform or your own infrastructure. When you find out what went wrong, make sure you can make it right or consider replacing critical infrastructure with a more reliable system.

Commiserate with the Community

Do you have products that could help out other business owners or community members who have been affected by the same problem that took your phones down? This is a great opportunity for your business to make its presence felt in the community by helping out where you can.

Come Together

Rather than leave employees to their own devices while they wait for things to come back online, take advantage of their downtime to engage in team building activities or deliver brand and product knowledge training.


While staff are on hand and standing by, hold a brainstorming session to find ways to resolve or respond to the crisis on hand. If resolution is out of your control, use the time to brainstorm ideas for improving customer care, tapping new markets, improving efficiency, or for some other facet of your organization.

Order In

Let employees know you care and make waiting more enjoyable by bringing in food, beverages, or other supplies that can help them weather the storm or wait out the outage.

Divert to Cells

A company phone system outage does not have to mean lost orders. Let customers know that account executives can be reached by cell phone so that customers can place orders, make payments, check on the status of their shipments and so on for the duration of the outage, or purchase prepaid cell phones for use as part of your emergency preparedness plan.

Ask for Help

In times of emergency, even competitors can become trusted partners and friends. Reach out for help or (better yet) establish relationships ahead of time which can be tapped for assistance when inside or outside forces take your business offline.

Throw in the Towel

No business owner likes the thought of closing up shop for the day but sometimes throwing in the towel, regrouping and getting the rest needed to fight another day is the right thing ‐ and the best thing – to do. Decide ahead of time how long employees will be required to wait around before being sent home and how employees will be notified that they should not come in to work on days when opening is not a viable option.


Financial Contingency Planning 

Our cash advance financing might be the ideal solution when you need working capital to recover after an equipment failure. Likewise, if your point of sale or merchant services infrastructure let you down, now might be the right time to find a new credit card processing company or replace your POS equipment and software.

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