When discussing a disaster or disruption many small businesses think in the scale of a hurricane, tornado, fire or flood. What’s usually not part of this discussion is that there are other events that could happen. From power outages to errant key strokes, small businesses are affected by a multitude of events every year that disrupt the running of their business yet many are ill prepared for the aftermath.
Unfortunately disasters and disruptions, big and small, are becoming more prevalent. Here are five ways to better position your business to be more prepared in their aftermath.
Prepare a list with important names and numbers that will help get your business up and running as soon as possible. This list should include, but not be limited to, vendor, utility, insurance and customer information.
Know What is Vital for the Survival of Your Business
Determine what functions, equipment and supplies are of priority to keep your business running. Having this information documented ahead of time will allow for an easier transition to getting your business reopened.
Have Back-up Copies
Keep a copy of all important business documents (tax, accounting, payroll, insurance, and customer data) in a portable waterproof bag or box. If at all possible, scan those documents and store them in the cloud through services such as SugarSync or Dropbox. Either way you will be able to access the information at a moment’s notice.
Have Alternative Work Arrangements
Knowing you have a place where you can set up shop soon after a disaster or disruption will benefit your business in the long run. You will want to have a place where you will be able to do work related activities with little or no interruption. Possible locations could be Co-working facilities, coffee shops, libraries or even another business in your area that was not affected. Knowing you have the ability to work from another location will take some pressure off you and make what could have caused a major disturbance and reduce it to an annoyance.
Know Your Insurance Coverage
Understand what your policy does and does not cover well before a disaster or disruption strikes. Most policies do not cover flooding or earthquake damage and need separate insurance to cover them. Talk with your insurance agent to review your policy to make sure there are no gaps in coverage.
With simple foresight and planning, even the smallest business can survive a disaster or disruption. Planning ahead can make the difference between reopening or permanently shutting the doors to your business.
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