Failing to plan is planning to fail. Your small business must be prepared for any type of emergency – including a zombie apocalypse. You might find this ridiculous now, but you’ll thank us later because we are one freak mutation away from becoming hosts to zombifying organisms. Should that happen, you’ll be looking back to the day you read this article.
Rampaging subhuman entities may mean the end of the world to some, but not to you and your business if you read this article. Here’s how your small business can survive a zombie apocalypse.
How Fast Would A Zombie Outbreak Affect Your Business?
If there was a zombie attack, just how quickly would your business be impacted? That depends on where your business is located.
For example, should Patient Zero (the very first infected person) in a zombie outbreak appear in New York City, the whole city would be ravaged in 24 hours. That’s according to Cornell physics graduate students Matt Bierbaum and Alex Alemi, who created the interactive Zombietown, USA map as a project in speculative epidemiology. The map was based on 2010 US Census Data and mathematical models to track the spread of the infection:
Those with businesses in big cities are in big trouble. If the entire city of New York, with over 8 million people, can be overrun in one day, businesses in small towns and large cities elsewhere don’t have much time to get things in order and brace for the attack.
Once the living dead conquers everyday life, your employees, business partners, and the security of your physical location are high on the vulnerability list. Everything within the reach of mindless beings is in danger of being chomped, infected, or trampled. Here’s how to launch your best counterattack.
6 Ways To Prepare Your Business for a Zombie Apocalypse
If there is a zombie outbreak, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) would be quick to start identifying the source of the virus and take steps to combat it. However, even with the CDC’s expertise, defeating the disease will take time. In the meantime, you should take the following 6 measures to ensure the survival and continuity of your business.
1. Hire Survivors
Your zombie apocalypse preparation starts with your team. Your company is only as strong as your weakest employee, especially in bad times so select your people well. You want to hire survivors who are willing to make a living even as the dead roam the streets. These hustlers tend to do well under any circumstance.
We suggest hiring millennials. Although they get a bad rap now, millennial employees will prove to be assets in times of crisis. The average millennial has $37,172 in student loans to pay off, so they can’t afford to miss work even if a zombie is chasing them down.
2. Delegate People to Secure the Office & Find Safe Zones
Before a zombie apocalypse occurs, send out a memo informing everyone that you’ll conduct a zombie apocalypse preparedness day. Disguise it as a fun team building activity so your employees won’t find the proposal ridiculous. During the event, however, make sure that everyone’s dead serious in learning how to survive the undead.
If an outbreak actually happens, assign a few people to work together quickly to secure the office. These employees should figure out a way to prevent theft and damage from looters or random zombie hordes. Another group should be in charge of finding various safe locations where team members can hide until the CDC finds a cure. Remember, you may end spending a lot of time in your office. As the owner, let your team know that you’ll be taking care of emergency supplies including food, water, medicine, and other essentials noted by the CDC. Your employees need to stay healthy and well-fed so you can conduct business as usual.
“Your business space needs to be easily defensible–and needs to be convertible quickly. Being able to convert a business space into a long-term residential space (one potentially under siege) is essential. There should be bars on the doors and windows, a roll-down barrier for the office or storefront, and reinforced doors with multiple locks and deadbolts. Ideally, the space needs to have a fortified back door, roof access, and sewer system access.”
3. Have a Business Succession Plan
No matter how much you prepare, zombies might still infect you, your business partner, or your employees. Unfortunately, three out of five businesses don’t have a succession plan in place to ease the transition if something unexpected were to happen.
CDC staff will work around the clock racking their brains in search of a cure while zombies are in search of brains. But if the worst happens and a key person in your organization falls victim, someone should be ready to take over the position. The hierarchical structure of your business should be clear so transition becomes seamless in times of disaster. Key man insurance ensures that the people leftover after the zombie attack have the financial means continue operating the business.
4. Upload Data to the Cloud
Lucky for you, zombies have zero appetite for copper wires. So as long as there is electricity, the internet would continue working. After all, it was designed as a decentralized network, so even if one location goes down, there are other ways to connect.
Even if your office gets trashed by a zombie attack, you can simply upload all your data to the cloud. There are plenty of cloud-based services that offer various features at competitive pricing. You and your team can securely store gigabytes of data in the cloud where it will remain safe from pathogenic bites.
Here are types of data that you should securely store in the cloud in case of a zombie-instigated disaster:
- Customer emails and internal emails
- Personnel information
- Important business documents, such as employment contracts, partnership agreements, or vendor contracts
- A backup of your website and blog posts
- To-do lists
Be sure to encrypt your data before uploading it.
5. Communicate Remotely & Continue Serving Customers
The number of people working from home in the country rose by 115 percent between 2005 and 2015. That figure is expected to rise when zombies take charge.
You can collaborate remotely from the safe zones identified during your zombie apocalypse preparedness day. With your business operating in the cloud, your employees have no excuse to miss work. As long as internet access is available, every team member can work from anywhere using video conference software to communicate. To keep employees motivated, tell them that this is a great opportunity to test whether remote collaboration can work.
You can also serve customers during a zombie apocalypse, says Professor Bishop:
“The business will want to stay open during the apocalypse to service other survivors, especially if the business deals in goods and services that will still be in demand during an apocalypse. That means advertising from the roof or exterior walls, being able to engage with consumers through a slot or small doorway, and being able to transact with alternative forms of currency or traded goods.”
Continuing to serve customers during a zombie outbreak may be easier if you collaborate with other businesses. Two heads are better than one, particularly in a crisis. For example, if you own a hardware store and sell repair/security tools, you can team up with the convenience store down the street that’s selling food, water, and other essentials. Advertise for each other and spread the word of mouth about both of your businesses.
“No one is going to survive this by going it alone. You need to be able to work with others, and to offer (and thereby receive) trust and loyalty. Also, keep your eyes on the prize. Sometimes, you can be so preoccupied with the everyday details of survival that you lose sight of long-term goals. Remember to balance short-term and long-term thinking.”
6. Regroup After the Zombie Attack
When the CDC gives the all-clear signal, one of the first things you can do is to take stock of your situation. Hopefully, all your team members are still alive.
Meet all surviving employees and hand them a decent bonus to recognize them for sticking with you in the midst of a pandemic. You can also offer enticing coupons and discounts to your customers to encourage them to shop after the dust has settled. Contact vendors and hint at renegotiating contracts in your favor for your uninterrupted service even when the world was about to end. Also, check if your competitors made it. Surviving a zombie apocalypse brings a wealth of new opportunities.
Bottom Line on Zombie Apocalypse
Zombies may just be a figment of the imagination now, but one sinister organism that manages to evolve can quickly turn fantasy into reality. You can prevent your business from going under even if the dead rises to life. Follow the tips above while waiting for the CDC to send the zombies underground.
Do you have other tips on how your small business can survive a zombie apocalypse? Share them below!