Developing a post-disaster business plan

Content Summary

Once you've taken stock, it’s time to review your business strategy and update your business plan. Consider what you want the business to be for yourself and your clients. There are a variety of business plan templates and tutorials online. An example template can be found at business.gov.au

When developing or revising your business plan, be sure to consider every possible option. These could include:

  • continuing to operate per your pre-disaster business model
  • continuing to operate per your pre-disaster business model while seeking to improve the performance of the business
  • changing your business model
  • exiting the business altogether.

As the authors of ‘Are U Ready? Surviving Small Business Disaster’ (*Anthony Turner and Sandra Slatter, 2012.) * state; “Remember, the decisions you make at this point concerning your business, if not thought through very carefully, could be detrimental to your future. Your decision could also have an impact on many other people, including the broader community, and could affect others’ livelihood as well.”

In developing or revising your business plan, we suggest collating all the information you gathered to take stock of your business following the disaster.

Documenting assumptions in your business plan is important, however it may be difficult to make assumptions in a post-disaster environment. Past experiences may no longer be relevant, and the market may have changed significantly at least in the short term. The evaluation of the market following a disaster will help you formulate your business assumptions.

When determining your assumptions use realistic targets. Using your historic financial information and looking for any trends in this information is a good place to start. Remember to consider all changes after the disaster. Industry data provided by independent and reputable providers will also help you develop assumptions.

Make sure you document all assumptions. Areas that are specific to the disaster, such as delayed compliance payments, forward orders and reopening costs should form part of your assumptions.

Assumptions for your business plan

Develop a list of key business drivers and the assumptions you are making for them. You may find it difficult to develop assumptions in a post-disaster environment.