Disaster preparedness plans can help businesses cope during tough times
August 30, 2012
Many small business owners would like to believe that during the first few years of operation, the toughest processes they will go through involve competing against similar companies, trying to market to a specific audience and how to get by until they are in the black on accounting software. However, that may not always be the case.
Natural disasters can spell major trouble for small firms. Storefronts that are in the path of storms, like the current Hurricane Isaac that is battering the south, or are situated near fault lines can often be destroyed in one fell swoop, potentially leaving the leader, employees and clients with nothing.
As such, owners may want to develop an all-inclusive plan that could train workers on what to do if the physical location is destroyed, client files are lost and the company seems on the brink of total failure. With plans in place, even the newest of startups may be able to pick itself up before it fails totally.
Back up data regularly
One of the most important steps owners can take to ensure their company will still be able to function is to back up all company and client data. This is easily done using cloud technology, which will enable owners to access the information on any device.
Inc. Magazine suggested companies back up data in two separate locations, just in case, once a day for one, and once a week for another, for best results.
Inform all employees
Everyone involved in the company needs to be informed about these plans. The company will see the best results after a disaster if all workers band together to try to reestablish the company's operations. They need to know where to go, how to speak to peers and what their part in the revamping of the business is.
"Business resilience is more than just about getting back on your feet, it's also about doing the right things to make sure you don't get knocked down in the first place," explained FM Global CEO Jon Hall to Business News Daily, who added everyone needs to know the plan to ensure the health and performance of the firm.
Invest in insurance
In nearly any location, the threat of some type of natural disaster is real. Even companies not located in areas that experience tornadoes or earthquakes could fall prey to a flood or fire. As such, all business owners should consider looking at disaster insurance packages.
According to Inc., the average policy that covers business property, liability and income loss tends to cost around $1,000 annually, though that differs based on common area weather patterns. The magazine also noted that there are usually federally-imposed limitations on claims that can be made.