15 January 2022

Little black box of essentials vital for business resilience

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Eden Antiques co-owner and Eden Business Chamber president Eric Wolske.

Eden Antiques co-owner and Eden Business Chamber president Eric Wolske. Photo: Supplied.

Whether he’s in his shop, at home, out and about locally or further afield, Eden Antiques co-owner Eric Wolske has all his essential business information on him at all times in the form of a USB.

The Eden Business Chamber of Commerce president also has an offline printed copy of his important documents, another copy on his laptop and a further set on another USB.

It might seem over the top, but after the 2019-20 bushfires and the COVID-19 pandemic, he prefers to be prepared for any disaster, any time.

Mr Wolske now plans to store a complete, updated copy of the collection with items such as a spare phone charger, torch and fresh batteries in a water and fireproof box ready to evacuate.

Southern NSW business owners across 12 LGAs can learn from him and other local case studies by participating in the free Business Community Resilience (BCR) Toolkit pilot program.

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Delivered by corporate2community, a social enterprise committed to building resilience in all businesses – big and small – the 26-module program helps business owners and operators take small steps to build resilience in any size and type of business.

Southern NSW BCR Toolkit lead Mel Peverill said the sixth module of the course helps business owners and operators prepare for disaster by having a little black box of essential business information.

“We are building on the well-known emergency service message of having a box of practical and irreplaceable things ready to go in an emergency,” she said.

“Your little black business box could include hard copies of things like emergency contact information for your staff, insurance policy and ABN documents, and supplier and customer details.

“You may have all that digitally backed up on the cloud, but what happens if there is a telco disruption and you can’t access anything on the cloud?

“It’s about having backups to your backup.”

It’s not too late to sign up for the free program. Every module has small steps to help you learn how to run or operate your business so it’s more successful and efficient in the good times – and helps you prepare for the next disaster to come.

“When disaster happens, you don’t always have time to think. Having an updated little black box and a checklist to follow means one less thing to worry about.”

Mr Wolske said he had learned the importance of backing up crucial business information from his bookkeeper mother and his work in banking and insurance.

READ ALSO The woes of the computer illiterate in an online world

“My trusty little USB is pretty much the lifeline for my business,” he said. “We can just plug it in and start again from where we left off.”

The BCR Toolkit helps business owners and operators take small steps towards setting their business up for success – by asking two yes or no questions and providing simple tips.

The free BCR Toolkit pilot program runs until October 2022 and is joint funded by the NSW and Commonwealth Government Bushfire Community Recovery and Resilience Fund (BCRRF).

The Business Community Resilience (BCR) Toolkit is a free pilot program available to all businesses within the Local Government Areas of Bega Valley, Cootamundra-Gundagai, Eurobodalla, Goulburn Mulwaree, Greater Hume, Queanbeyan-Palerang, Shoalhaven, Snowy Monaro, Snowy Valleys, Upper Lachlan, Wagga Wagga and Wingecarribee.

Each fortnight a new module is released to help business owners and operators build resilience. Past modules include: 80/20 Rule, 3 Revenue Streams, Supply Chains, Linchpins and Internet Connection.

Data collected during the BCR Toolkit program is shared with local working group representatives including councils and business chambers to support local learning and future funding outreaches.

Register here to access past modules.

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