You may have heard me talk before about using a spidergram to map the activity in our business.
Today I’m back on the subject of spidergrams, but in the context of the importance of agreements in managing business interruption.
I attended a very useful talk recently by Jo Tall of Off To See My Lawyer.
Jo specialises in helping small business with their legal issues – a very useful woman to know!
At her talk she reminded us about agreements – or ‘contracts’.
It’s important to check any agreements we may have in place, to see what they say about business interruption or any other consequences of the current situation.
Jo suggested creating a spidergram.
Put your business in the middle, and then add links to anyone with whom you have any kind of relationship – utilities, IT, banks, clients, other suppliers, insurance companies, etc.
Then for each name on the list, check what kind of written agreement, if any you have with them.
Also check what the agreement says, if anything, about circumstances where the ‘contract’ cannot be fulfilled.
More formal agreements may refer to ‘force majeure’ which is defined as ‘unforeseeable circumstances that prevent someone from fulfilling a contract’.
Where these exist, it will probably be easier for you to effect any changes you need to make to your relationship.
Less formal agreements may talk about cancellation, or be silent – in which case you’ll simply have to negotiate on any change you want to make.
Not ideal, but forewarned is forearmed.
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