A Business Disaster Plan To Consider
I used to own a brick and mortar business back in the day and was well aware of it being shut down due to a crisis situation of some sought. What kind of business disaster plan would you need to overcome that?
So what needs to be done so you can answer the question: How can my Small Business Prepare for Disaster? This post will cover 10 improvements that is a must for a business owner or manager when catastrophe strikes.
You Need A Business Disaster Plan
When trouble hits your business whether it’s one part of your business or your entire business, and the nature surrounding your business can completely disintegrate.
If you want to reduce the effect that may hurt your current business or threaten your business as a whole, then you can’t spend too much time thinking about what’s going on, there is a necessity to react with haste.
Reacting with haste and with conviction beneath a huge amount of weight and bewilderment that comes with any catastrophe is not a good business disaster plan.
However, there is a thought that we have to get rid of and that thought is: we will never be in the situation discussed. Nobody can tell the future and just when you think a catastrophe can’t impact your business, that’s when it will.
Mother Nature And Your Business Planning
Look at how the weather has been recently.
Some areas in the country had just experienced a hurricane.
Hurricane Dorian practically wiped out the Bahama’s and nearly did the same to South Florida and most of the east coast.
While some regions that were supposed to experience a hurricane but did not, people living in those areas got ready and prepared for the possible effects. Just like people preparing for matters in their personal lives that have to be done with your business as well. The number of storms in the United States has risen in the last few years.
Bad weather that reaches levels of a natural disaster can impact a business in a few different ways. It could interrupt work preventing the business from achieving what it has to or cause a business good employees in the event of bad weather cost employees their lives. Events like these can be set in motion from a small inconvenience.
What Is Disaster Recovery Planning?
The impact this can have on a business all has to do with preparation or the lack thereof. There is a quote that goes: “Failing to plan means planning to fail.” While there might be an expense in preparing, it will save you time and money in the long run when that disaster happens.
Things like a generator can cause a business to continue as usual when a power outage happens while other business will have to stop business until the power is restored. That’s how simple planning can be.
There is nothing more vital than being ready to take actions that will help your business heal. The following list is a guideline for every organization and business. It also does not hurt to build on these if possible.
Safety Should Be Guaranteed Your Business
When something like a hurricane or other event takes place, the first thing everyone does in the aftermath to call family members to make sure they are alright.
People in management should check on their employees and customers if customers happen to be in the building. If someone cannot be accounted for or is not alright, emergency services should be notified immediately.
Consider An Off-Site Location
When you can’t work in your normal location, keep the business moving along, as usual, might not be an option. When that situation arises you will have to answer a few questions such as:
- Where are the important files going to stay?
- Can employees perform their job role from home?
- Is there somewhere business can move on like usual until the original location is safe to resume business?
Matters like these should already have an answer in your business disaster plan.
Have A Contact List Ready
You should have a list of people and other businesses that include medical attention but also can help the business get back up and running like the company that insures your business and contractors in case a natural disaster somehow wrecked the building that people worked in.
Initiate Human Resource Emergency Planning
Every business owner wants to keep their business running to the highest potential at all times no matter what. If circumstances do not allow this, Things that should be done in this event include: helping employees in communications and smoothing out difficulties for employees if possible.
Updating the voice mail message for work to alert new customers to the situation and call anybody else to let them know of the situation like current customers, upper management, part-time workers and anybody else that is crucial to notify.
If there is a temporary work site, make sure employees know how to get there and contacting additional people to know how routines are going to change for the near future. Keep trying to make sure morale is not going down and keep your workers hopeful. Meetings could be used to address all concerns. Activities could be used to raise the mood of all workers.
Keep In Touch With All In A Disaster Situation
This does not have to be with emergency services or the insurance company of your business. This is a company that can replenish you with what you need while your business is trying to heal from the recent disaster.
If you don’t have a company like this, it would be best to find the best one that suits you based on the following three subjects: The safety record, experience level and trustworthy companies that have used this business before.
It is understandable that if you are experiencing a crisis, you might want to cut corners and accept help from the first company you find but that could cost you more in the long run.
Consider Systems That Will Handle Finances
Once your employees and the location has been dealt with, you might need more systems or new systems that can handle finances which will track income, expenses and hold all the information that you can reach when you need it.
That way, shipments are not getting lost without a trace when being sent to customers and accounts can be modified as needed.
Check Your Vendor’s Situation During A Crisis
Just because a disaster has stopped your business from being productive as it was, that does not mean your business was the only one that had their routines interrupted.
Get in contact with these companies to see if they had a business disaster plan in place and can still supply you with what you need. If they cannot, you might need to find a new company that can continue business during this crisis and supply you with what is needed so you can continue the business.
You also want to let current customers know of the situation and let them know how your business was impacted and how it will impact any orders that have not been fulfilled. If your location is a brick and mortar location, let them know if they have to come to a temporary location if you have one or if they can go to your normal location if the business is still going on from that main location.
Your Employees Might Need To Do More
You might have to hand out additional jobs to your staff which will come with additional accountability. Supply directions on what you need from your staff and how they can make things for the business move smoothly.
Your employees should have knowledge of what needs to be done and how to do it. It might be valuable to have drills where employees take over these additional tasks so when the event happens for real; those employees know exactly what to do.
Your Insurance Rep Is Now Your Best Friend
The faster you let your insurance company know what was lost, the faster your claim can be processed and paid out. Waiting too long to file means the insurance payout could be less or none then if you had filed right away.
It’s best to get this done as soon as possible because if not, it will raise questions why the insurance company wasn’t notified right away if you had the ability to get in touch with them.
There are a few things the insurance company will want to know including:
- What was damaged and how?
- When did the damage happen?
- Who the insurance company should contact about this?
- What will be done or is being done to secure the work area?
Keep In Touch With Your Community
If there is a failure to have a business disaster plan in place for a crisis, then it will be difficult to let people know how the business is going after experiencing the crisis.
It’s best to have a Public Relations team that will assist with the following tasks:
- Who will be answering all questions to the media?
- Will social media pages be providing updates?
- Who will be responsible for contacting emergency services?
A crisis can impact a business in many ways. Having a plan describing what to do when the crisis occurs will decide how long your company is suspended from doing business.
These ideas show a crisis is a lot to plan for. However, the more you plan, the more ready you will be when something happens for real.