How Small Businesses Can Outsmart Disaster

By Tara Lynn Gray – California Office of the Small Business Advocate (CalOSBA)

I’ve used the word “resilience” a lot in this column. I’ll just quote myself from my January column: “’‘Resilience’ is the word of the century.”   

I was in Los Angeles last month at CALED’s annual conference, California’s premier training event for economic developers. And, sure enough, I was invited to talk about the “R” word on a panel.  

While prepping my remarks, it occurred to me how differently economic professionals use this word from how it crops up in everyday life.  

The dictionary definition means “the capacity to withstand or recover quickly from difficulties”. For most people, that is associated with a question of character, a kind of mental and moral toughness. As parents, for example, this is a trait we work hard to imbue in our kids.   

But to economic developers – and our Governor — resiliency is all about strategy: evaluating the reliability of infrastructure, creating a cash reserve in the budget, accurately predicting future economic shocks and stresses, and mitigating against what hasn’t happened yet.   

I want to argue that it’s the same – or should be – for small business-owners. Can you really Outsmart Disaster? Well, you obviously can’t prevent an earthquake or outrun a wildfire. But you can be resilient in both senses of the word by developing the mindset to keep going after inevitable setbacks…and doing the hard work it takes to expect the unexpected.  

Read the full article on LinkedIn here.

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