Archive for December, 2011

FedEx Small Business of the Week

Wednesday, December 7th, 2011

I am delighted to report that Prisere LLC is one of three finalists for the FedEx Small Business of the Week. The public will choose the winner by online voting. You don’t have to disclose any personal information to vote, just one mouse-click will do it. Please vote for us and encourage your friends and family to vote for us. Here is the site where you can vote until 8:00 a.m. Tuesday, December 13:

New York Times Small Business Case Study Highlights Disaster Risk

Wednesday, December 7th, 2011

After the flood

Check out the New York Timesweekly small business case study which presents the story of Pulling Down the Moon, a Chicago business affected by disaster. Three experts were asked to advise the business owners with respect to their future leasing plans. Our comments were heavily edited for space considerations. Here is the complete comment I submitted:

“The co-founders and owners of Pulling Down the Moon are to be commended for doing so many things right: developing an operations manual to provide for systematic processes to scale the business, storing critical data offsite and securing business interruption insurance to replace their lost revenues. Sadly, few business owners take these essential steps, resulting in losses that could be avoided.

But now the business faces a dilemma: should they stay or should they find new space? The answer to that question is to be found in the mission of the business, providing stress-reducing yoga to aid fertility. Disruptions are stressful.  We are all on autopilot to a certain extent, relying on repetitive familiar routines to get through the day. Even trivial changes, such as a new commute on an unfamiliar route, cause stress. Should Pulling Down the Moon impose upon its clients the stress associated with its current sub-leasing arrangements? Better to find space that is less vulnerable to water damage to ensure future continuity for the business and its clients, who need a consistent, soothing space in their lives.

But the founders of Pulling Down the Moon should be under no illusions that they will move from the back seat to the driver’s seat by moving from a sub-lease to a primary lease.  A commercial tenant’s disaster response is always dependent on the efforts of its landlord. That is why businesses should consult with their landlords to determine in advance what facilities and services will be in place after a disruption and establish roles and responsibilities for such cases. This avoids disputes that can arise later. Pulling Down the Moon is fortunate that it avoided what could have been a costly misunderstanding by having a relatively cooperative landlord. As it enters into lease negotiations with a new landlord, it should document explicit arrangements for procedures in the event of a disruption so both landlord and tenant can each benefit from greater predictability.”

Donna Childs is the founder of Prisere LLC and the author of Prepare for the Worst, Plan for the Best: Disaster Preparedness and Recovery for Small Businesses (Wiley, second edition paperback, 2009).”

Thanks to the New York Times and to author John Grossman for a great case study that we hope will raise awareness about the importance of preparedness.