Beer Trucks, The Long Tail, and The Truth

October 30, 2008

The Beer Truck

Back in January of this year, I published a post on ensuring that the key responsibilities, actions, and procedures in a SME are documented so that one individual is not the weak link in your organizational knowledge.

I cannot remember where I first heard or used the term, but over the years, when I have been talking to small / medium business managers or staff about actually writing things down, about documenting the key events keep the business running, I always just asked;

What if you were hit by a beer truck on the way to work tomorrow?

If you are not there, does anybody else in the organization have a clue on how to continue?

So rather whimsically I titled the post; Can your Small / Medium Business pass the Beer Truck Test?

The Long Tail

At least once or twice a week since I wrote that post, people using the search term ‘beer truck test’ (or some variant) have found that post.

With one funny exception, most of these folks seem shy – as none of them has left a comment on the context of their search term!

The Truth

But the concept of the original post was not whimsical, as written in this Canadian PROFIT Magazine article.

Now this article is on the theme of succession planning in a SME, where my original post was themed along the benefits of strong organizational processes, But Jill Anderson of Aecometric Corp. had to confront the ‘Beer Truck’ in her life after her husband suffered a tragic stroke.

Without considering the severe tragedy Ms. Anderson faced, in the SME space, too many of us would be just as lost if a key member of the team left suddenly. Say your controller, head of sales, maybe even IT.

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