Now, this blog is not about what you think it might mean, although getting sufficient physical exercise can be beneficial for the business owner and to help improve the business, it is not something I am going to push to business owners, I will leave it up to them to decide whether exercise can assist them or not.
When I talk about exercise, I am talking when it comes to time to evaluate your Business or test aspects of your business to see how they are working or not working, therefore being sufficient or not sufficient for your business operations.
Exercise is often a term used in the Emergency Management arena, where it talks about an exercise being about testing something, often a particular service whether CFA, SES, Police, or Ambulance response to a particular scenario, which can help them prepare to how they might respond to something if it ever occurs, e.g. building collapse, Wildfire, Stand collapse as MCG, etc, however often in this case an exercise means it is a test of something or not currently occurring in real life.
In Business it is important we test everything that we do to ensure it is operating the best it can for our current and potential clients. We test our contact form on our websites, we constantly check our emails from our website, we might check our booking system, etc.
However, the important aspect of any test or exercise is to ensure we know the following
- Why are we doing it
- What do we want to achieve
- Who do we need to participate
Only once we know the purpose of the exercise/ testing, we can then work out the best way of doing this, and to ensure it works to the best possible outcome, or do we need to adjust it to ensure it does, although sometimes we find that more training might be required to ensure it becomes familiar. Some things which we might test
- Fire Alarms
- Security Alarms
- Business Continuity Plans
- Evacuation Plans
- Website contact forms
- Website booking forms/ Systems
- IT Systems
- Break-in at the office/ shop
- On-call Staff should you offer a 24 hr response
- How to cope with minimal staff due to sickness
- Bomb Threat/ Suspicious package left behind
- Active shooter on-premises- which could become more common in the future
- No Public Transport- how would staff get to work without trains or buses
- Anything in relation to your own Business.
As you can see there are a few things in which can be tested, although I am sure in your own individual Business industry and or circumstances you could think of other aspects which could be tested.
Don’t only think of testing systems etc in relation to your own operations, think about some of your suppliers, etc, and think can I involve them in my exercise, how would this work, as you might also be helping them to plan for the “whatever’s” which could occur in their Business.
Any way in which you can assess the risk to the Operations of your Business and therefore help you understand how to minimize or even eliminate something occurring can only improve your business, and minimize the interruption or disruption to your Business.
Depending on your business, however, the majority of things should be tested every 12 months, although the more it can be tested the better it can be for your business and to improve your Business and prepare it for the future to become more resilient. The Important thing when testing items, is to try not to disrupt your business too much whilst testing it, that it ruins your business, however, you need to try and ensure it is as authentic as possible to ensure it helps you to learn from it.
Now I have you thinking about your Business Operations and what you need to test to ensure it works and to help train your staff in knowing how to respond to an incident, Good luck with your planning, and remember there are people out there to assist you in this sort of area of your Business.