The end of the world creeps up on us at least a few times a year. A mixture of sensationalism, media hype and moral panic (much like the title of this piece…) the world’s press love nothing more than to whip us into a frenzy. From Y2K to possibly every headline The Express has ever printed, the end has been nigh many a time.
Sensationalism is editorial bias that swings toward creating hype, often without accuracy. We sadly live in a world where sensationalism is reported in place of real news – a clever distraction from the horror going on in the world. Which is going to sell more papers, or get more people onto a website – David Cameron (allegedly) putting a private part in a pig or George Osborne cutting free school meals?
A recent sensationalistic theory is that a two and half mile long comet will hit crash into the Atlantic Ocean at some point this year, causing catastrophic devastation across the globe. Whilst it sounds like the plot line from a late 90’s apocalyptic thriller, the chances of an asteroid big enough to wipe out human life are about 75 million to one.
I don’t believe a comet will destroy human existence, not this year anyway. Whilst the actual end of the world is probably far off, it might be time to take stock of what you have, how it’s protected and what your business continuity plans are. If the end of the world came about, would we feel fine?
Stage one – Staff don’t turn up for work
If the end of the world were reported to be happening, mass-panic would set in. Staff would be unlikely to turn up for work, rendering you a one-person-band. If you were feeling particularly resourceful as a human, you could look into disciplinary action if they repeatedly don’t notify you of their absence. Or alternatively, keep staff morale high and give everyone the week off.
Stage two – Discount your stock
Why not put a sale on or discount your stock? Or alternatively if you’re in the bunker building business (and have no morals) orchestrate a price surge?
However you decide to capitalise on the end of the world, it’s worth remembering that your premises would potentially be looted as people manically get their hands on any goods or services that may enhance their chances of survival. Did you think about that when looking into business insurance?
Step three – Stock market crash
After the panic, it’s inevitable that trading will cease. The stock market will crash and a wave of desperation and depression will engulf the nation. Trade across Europe would grind to a halt and the economy would fall apart. You can count on the fact that the news anchors will be having a field day watching your pride and joy deteriorate into a feeble pit of nothingness.
Stage four – If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em
If you’re a creative freelancer there might be good money to be made out of the end of the world. You could use your skills to capture the final moments, filming burning buildings, the mania that the end of the world would create. For everyone else, the prospects are a little less promising.
If there were a mere 24 hours until it was time to say sayonara, would you really want to spend it checking your cashflow, or busying yourself with your self-assessment? Get real, people. Go see loved ones, do something adventurous, and switch off from your business.
Stage five – Bye bye
Your business would ultimately be forced to close and depending on how by the book you were feeling, you could close it officially with HMRC, or leave it to fold on its own accord.