By: Howard McAuliffe, Pinnacle Entertainment Group

It is Hurricane season; Hurricane Florence is bearing down on the East Coast and surely grocery stores are running out of bread and milk in its path.  This last-minute prep may help people in the short term but preparing for the storm really is done far before the storm hits.  I’ve been struck by the analogy between preparing for a physical storm and preparing for a storm in business.  Here are a few similarities:


  • Location: Don’t build your house in an area prone to flooding. Similarly, don’t build your business in an area likely to struggle when profits are pressured.


  • Build and Maintain- Once we do find a good location it is essential to build a strong house. We make sure to maintain it including features to literally “weather a storm” like: having a generator, all the shingles nailed down, and some good shutters.  Our business’s need a well-maintained space, a good team of employees, loyal customers, and a cash reserve.


  • Accept Help- No matter how well prepared we are for a hurricane, we may need some help. Asking for help from neighbors and family is a big help, as well as vendors to help restore power, clean up, fix the damage.  Of course, we should also listen to first responders when they tell us to evacuate, and not ignore the storm.  In business, there will be hard times and asking for help from vendors, financers, employees, and most importantly customers is ok.  When the storm hits, it is also key not to ignore it, and work quickly to mitigate and clean-up after.


Nobody knows exactly when a hurricane will appear, or where it will hit.  However, we do know that they will appear and hit somewhere and we need to prepare.  Business is the same, nobody knows when an economic downturn will happen, a fire will start, or an illness will hit a key person, but we do know that challenges will happen.  The real preparation doesn’t start by getting bread when the storm is bearing down, it starts in the beginning and continues always.