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Running a business in a war zone…

Well ok, perhaps not a war zone, but I spotted a recent article on the BBC website, which made fascinating reading. I’ve abbreviated some of its points here, as I was just awestruck. Of course many of the globe’s people have little choice, but how in God’s name do they do so?

The article started by pointing out that big businesses like General Motors and Electrolux quickly closed production in their Cairo plant during the riots that followed the overthrow of president Morsi and increased production at plants in other parts of the World.

But it was the smaller businesses that must have found themselves with a desperate problem, how would they feed their family? Would the business effectively be destroyed, never to open again?

The article referred to Christine Sfeir who ran a restaurant in Lebanon and found the turmoil following a 15year civil war and the more recent war with Israel has permanently affected the way she runs the business. On one occasion her planned grand launch of a new eatery was rapidly reduced to a small soiree whilst the tanks rolled past outside.

There’s a Virgin Megastore in Lebanon too and one of its stores sits nicely in Martyrs’ Square in Beirut. After Israel’s war with Lebanon, it is perhaps little surprise that few customers bothered going in the store when protestors set up camp outside. Like the rest of the World, currently concerned, as to whether there will ever be an end to the crisis in the Middle East, the store works on a skeleton staff, with reduced hours and little stock.

But of course in this complex World, it will be of little surprise to find that there are people who specialize in risk management, who will say the big thing is planning, understanding your business from a regional and local level and to consider different scenarios from which to work out how one would react to each scenario and furthermore to update those plans.

If you would like to read the article, you’ll find it here



avatar Name: Alexandra Eager
About: Alex has worked as a Financial Controller and Finance Director for many years for a variety of companies across a range of industries but more recently she has moved away from accounting working for an internet marketing agency as Finance and Operations director, primarily overseeing the finance functions and search engine optimisation (SEO) for clients. Follow Alex on G+ and on Twitter @Alex_BusDirUK
Alex runs her own company with two fellow owners developing a suite of e-commerce web sites and promoting them directly. “I found that SEO and finance were quite compatible both needing an eye for detail, research and analysis as well keeping up with new developments and changes.”

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