“I was gambling in Havana
I took a little risk
Send lawyers, guns and money
Dad, get me out of this”
By Warren Zevon from Lawyers, Guns and Money
In 1978 thought provoking song-writer, singer and musician, Warren Zevon famous for songs like Werewolves of London and Splendid Isolation, also wrote ‘Lawyers Guns and Money’. In this he describes trouble, dark consequences and serious times requiring serious measures.
The world is an uncertain place and despite the best risk management processes and safe guards in place, business disasters do occur. BHP, for example, suffered a business disaster in November 2015 when a dam wall collapsed at the Samarco iron ore mine in Brazil that they jointly own. This resulted in 17 people being killed; whole villages and towns destroyed, and expected financial costs over the next 30 years of up to $7 billion.
The United States Small Business Administration indicate that 40 percent of businesses do not reopen after a disaster and over 90 percent of businesses fail within two years after being struck by a disaster.
When a business disaster strikes, to minimize the inevitable losses and consequences the business needs to have been prepared and armed in advance with three important tools to optimise survival. Firstly a good lawyer, secondly weaponry in the form of a disaster management plan, and thirdly access to money. These three items are essential if the business is to survive and need to be in place well before disaster strikes. Once the ship is taking water and starting to sink, it is usually too late.