Small businesses are often people’s pride, joy, and life’s work ,but the very sad truth is that these small businesses are just as at risk as anything else when it comes to facing a disaster that could put a business in jeopardy.
After all, the weather does not discriminate! Some may argue that small businesses are even more vulnerable than their larger competitors because they are less likely to be able to recover.
However, just because you might not be able to prevent a disaster does not mean you will not be able to see yourself through one. This piece will guide how to cope with a disaster as a small business, should one arise.
Check on Your Employees
Safety is first and foremost in any disaster situation. Make sure all employees that are available and safe.
Assuming you are not ‘Googling’ this while it is actually happening, this should hopefully be your first instinct. Post-disaster contact all employees to determine how many can still work, who have been affected, and how you can work around it.
In a time of crisis, employees are inclined to think about their worth, especially if they are being overworked or undervalued. The last thing you need is workers resigning because you are not treating them properly.
Contact Your Insurance Company
The next critical step is to contact your insurance company. First, check and document the damage that has been done to business property or the losses that have been incurred as soon as possible, then alert your insurance company.
Be prepared to do your own damage control in the meantime. Depending on what has happened, you may need to mitigate some of the damage yourself or stop issues such as floods going further into the property, etc.
You will want to find out if this is required of you in the event of a disaster as part of your lease, so make sure you know before a disaster actually strikes to stay covered. If circumstances require a cash injection, then business disaster loans can help you out in the meantime to keep things under control and help everything to resume as soon as possible.
Identify Critical Business Activities That Need to Continue
If you cannot afford to close down; small businesses often can’t, make sure you have identified the business’s crucial parts that need to continue to keep the business afloat.
This could include relocation to a temporary address, so make sure that your working employees can reach the location with ease or create a suitable setup where they can work and support the business from home.
Another alternative is to reach out to other businesses to see if they would be willing to temporarily share their space with you, which could also help you save on rent and other expenses that come with relocating. They might even be willing to share their resources and equipment with you, and you might find that you have found another business to collaborate with in the long run.