Where the drought stress starts
Most businesses and non-profit organisations will be adversely affected by drought, some more than others. All businesses feel the ripple effect as a drought starts to materialise.
The farmers are the first to feel it. Their costs start to increase, and as their cash flows deteriorate, so they tighten their belts, and the business community starts to feel a slowdown. The entire agricultural supply chain feels the impact of deteriorating conditions.
Businesses are already struggling with increasing cost pressures, especially fuel, gas and electricity prices, and the added impact of the drought will also affect business growth and employment. No matter your size, there is no escaping drought stress as farm spending dries up unless you can expand into new markets, and that can be very stressful.
Many businesses who directly supply the farming community feel the effects of the drought, long before an area is drought-declared or even under watch, as farmers and others tighten their belts.
As drought conditions deteriorate, local spend will continue to decrease in communities resulting in a reduction in business. This of course leads to rising stress
As the drought worsens, these businesses may need to make decisions regarding their ongoing viability, leading to business closures and job losses. Now we can be looking at serious depression and even worse.
The biggest challenge
The biggest challenge facing regional, rural and remote businesses, is drought. When drought bites and the going gets tough, you need to plan with insight and foresight in order to minimise health problems.
The middle of drought may not seem a great moment to be planning for the future of a family or a business, but tough times are exactly the right time to be talking about long-term business strategies.
Surviving drought can be hard enough, but drought can also trigger unexpected dangers for businesses when everybody is distracted. Be aware the distraction of dealing with drought can be a trap when other important things need to be taken care of, such as family and friends.
The very least families should do in tough times is to be aware of the risk of not communicating about transition and business plans, or family wants and needs.
Farmers tend to get very focused on feeding their livestock and trying to generate some cash flow. Drought, if nothing else, is a good time to do a general review of the structure of your business, and how you do business.
Better to be talking now and trying to address issues than trying to deal with a lot of postponed priorities later on, when your time and budgets are strained trying to cope with the drought and the aftershocks.
Stop drought stress get the right systems, tools and processes
Everyone experiences drought stress at some point in their lives. Some stress is right for you as it gives you the edge when it comes to taking appropriate action, especially in the workplace.
If you allow stress to overcome you, it affects your performance which in turn affects your career and earning capacity, not to mention the effect it has on your long-term health and family relationships.
The problem arises when you become overwhelmed with drought stress to a level where it becomes dangerous to your health. Left unchecked, it contributes to many other health problems such as heart disease, cancer, obesity and diabetes.
The simplest way to avoid drought stress is to clarify your objectives, then using a framework of the best systems, tools and processes you can afford. If you can’t make headway, seek immediate help.
“Always remember why you started your business, it could help you with a successful outcome when the drought is over”. Peter Sergeant.
“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much”. Helen Keller