Business owners may want to take a page from the strategies adopted by The Nation's "Businessman of the Year."

Business continuity plans help separate “Businessman of the Year” from the pack

This December, The Nation, a weekly journal of news, opinion and political analysis, named the president and CEO of Siam Cement Group (SCG), Kan Trakulhoon, as its "Businessman of the Year." While this distinction was gleaned through hard work and success, Trakulhoon was also lauded by the publication for his ability to respond to disasters that left other companies struggling.

According to the media outlet, 2011 was a difficult year for business owners, as many had their grand plans derailed by storms, earthquakes and tsunamis. However, what separated SCG and Trakulhoon from the pack was the approach he took to disaster recovery planning following political upheaval in Thailand in 2010, where the company is based.

SCG, which operates more than 200 companies in the cement, paper and petrochemical business, enacted a plan that, aside from political disruptions, was designed to ensure smooth operations and deliveries in the event of natural disasters.

After adjusting to previous challenges, SCG was able to continue even as severe flooding covered nearly a quarter of the country in 2011, the news source said. As such, SCG was able to remain in contact with clients and customers in the aftermath. In addition, Trakulhoon oversaw the movement of more than 400 of the company's employees to hot sites, and even helped workers whose homes were affected by the flood secure temporary hotel rooms.

"If their houses are flooded, how can they come to work?" He told the news source. "Some had to move out of their homes and rent apartments. I'm glad that when everything settled down, our employees turned themselves into volunteers to help other flood victims."

As a result, business owners that are aspiring for similar accolades may be wise to consult a disaster recovery specialist that can help them best adapt to whatever challenges 2012 has in store.