Being Prepared Goes Beyond the Thoughts

Real Estate Agent with Dirt Road Real Estate SA676002000

There is a radio commercial regarding disaster preparedness and discusses this question “What’s in your go bag?” A child asks the parent “What is a go bag?” The parent explains it holds things necessary during an emergency and “It's something we don’t have for things we need.”


This commercial reminded me of how often when I worked with mid-size to small business owners and discovered there was no emergency plan embedded within their strategic plan. In many instances, the strategic plan was a business plan submitted to a local bank. Remember these two statements:


#1 - Business plans are not strategic plans.


#2 - Thoughts are not actions.


Today with the economy being shut down for many mid-size to small businesses, now is the time to revisit your strategic plan even if you are just a “Realtor” working for a broker. To think the broker is responsible for any and all strategic thinking is a “REALLY, REALLY BIG MISTAKE.”


FACT: Most Realtors are independent contractors. If you are an independent contractor, you are a small business owner.


Within any solid strategic planning process, there should have been discussion about “risks” or think “what ifs” and in some instances an actual risk assessment. A risk assessment can be determined through an organizational assessment which looks at various aspects of the organization such as business results, leadership, market and customer focus, human resources (talent management), measurement analysis and knowledge management, process management (think culture), and strategic planning. The responses from such an organizational assessment can help to identify areas of risk.


For example, disaster preparedness specific to human resources or talent management should contain thorough and complete job descriptions to prepared for a disaster such as if a key employee unexpectedly leaves. Leadership should also included emergency numbers for all key personnel. Procedural manuals, often missing or antiquated. These manuals demand being regularly updated especially if the business relies on technology.


One disaster we have yet to experience is when our electrical grid goes down and what will small businesses to even the much larger ones do in such an event? Those who live off grid are prepared for such an event. They have engaged in planning and probably have updated their emergency plans on a regular basis as they live in a state of disaster preparedness.


Yes having a “go bag” is essential for any business that wants to stay ahead of the flow instead of being drowned along with all the other businesses that are also unfortunately drowning. These words of President Eisenhower ring true:


“Plans are worthless; planning is everything.”


Please feel free to call me at 219.508.2859 mst if you want to know more about how to assess your organization.


Graphics courtesy of


Posted by

Leanne M. Smith, MS, GRI, rCRMS

2018 KGVAR Rookie Realtor of the Year-55+
219.508.2859 MST
Life Begins Where the Pavement Ends
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Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Good morning Leanne Smith - the ones I am working with had some plan but never envisioned a plan for this.

Apr 30, 2020 10:20 AM #1
Realtyna Inc
Realtyna - Newark, DE
Realtyna- MLS RETS Integration software & services

Hi Leanne Smith, we've learned from 2008 and 2020 that it is very very difficult to see these these things coming. Better simply to plan for the worst.

May 01, 2020 03:10 AM #2
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Leanne:

No doubt the pandemic has raised awareness significantly for people and businesses to be prepared. Given the forest fires we have here CA many are accustomed to being warned about being prepared for a disaster, and possible prompt evacuation.


May 01, 2020 05:00 PM #7
Debra Leisek
Bay Realty,Inc Homer Alaska - Homer, AK

Plan you work.... Work your plan

I always enjoy your posts. Very thoughtful and well laid out 

I know I could do more to plan ahead for the emergencies especially if you break down emergencies from natural disasters to man-made disasters. We have certainly been served a taste of man-made disaster lately. First aid kits dont work for everything! Earthquakes and Volcanoes are easier to deal with fear of this unknown virus 

May 02, 2020 12:54 AM #8
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hello Leanne- - -it seems like a good follow-up question to "what's in your wallet? ". Preparation "goes" only so far. . .  But it's a start.

May 04, 2020 12:36 PM #11
Kevin Mackessy
Blue Olive Properties, LLC - Highlands Ranch, CO
Dedicated. Qualified. Local.

I just hope that those who plan better in the future, stick to those plans.  Many people overcompensate in the short term, but once things are better and back to normal, they can slip into their old ways. 

May 07, 2020 01:43 PM #13
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Leanne Smith

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