New Jersey was hit pretty hard by Hurricane Irene last week, and the owner of one of the businesses that was most impacted by severe flooding and downed trees made the decision to close up shop. He decided that the damage was so overwhelming, he simply had no alternative. There were other companies in his strip mall who were dealt the same fate.
But his story is different because his customers came together and decided that his catering business was essential to them. As such, they couldn't afford to have him shutter his doors and they opened a bank account and began a collection to help him rebuild his company. Their willingness to take on this responsibility said as much about him as it does about them!
Hearing this heart warming story gave me a moment to pause and think: is my firm that essential to our clients? If we 'disappeared' would our clients feel the loss, personally and professionally, and do their best to support us and ensure our continuity.
I suggest you ask yourself and your partners and staff the same question - and if you are not sure that you and your firm provide essential services for you clients - maybe you should begin to find ways for them to consider you as their most important, trusted advisors!