According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), 40 to 60 percent of small businesses never reopen their doors following a disaster. That’s a disheartening statistic for any owner trying to pick up the pieces following a devastating fire, storm, platform hack, security breach, riot or other unexpected catastrophe.
As overwhelmed as you might feel, it is important to know that your post-disaster actions and speed will directly impact how quickly you’re able to get your business up and running again. If you want to be one of the businesses that survive, you’ll need to be intentional about the process you follow to get on the road to recovery.
To help you get started, we connected with industry experts to curate seven of the best disaster-recovery tips for small businesses.
Take stock of the damage
Abby Eisenkraft, CEO of Choice Tax Solutions Inc. recommends small businesses “take stock of where they are currently at.” Knowing the level of damage to your business assets is going to be the first step in determining what you attack first. She advises starting with fundamental questions like are employees okay and available to return to work? Do you have a way of contacting everyone? Is it safe to return to the premises?
Even if the building and employees are safe, there’s work to do. Eisenkraft’s next question: Does your company need to acquire new equipment so you can be back in business quickly?
Answering these questions helps you visualize the challenges ahead and prioritize the steps involved in your recovery.
Reach out for help
Make sure you take photos of all the damage before you start cleaning up. When you pick up the phone to call your insurance company, you’ll want proof for your claim.
“Hopefully you have insurance that covers both the physical damage and compensates you for lost business as a result of the storm,” says David Waring, co-founder of the small business outlet FitSmallBusiness.com. “This would be in the form of coverage for your building [and its property] as well as business income insurance to replace any income the business loses as a result of the disaster.”
Waring further advises, “Whether you have insurance or not, for businesses affected by natural disasters like hurricanes, the federal government may also have assistance available, which you can explore.” And, Waring added, don’t forget that, “the Small Business Administration has various programs to help with disaster recovery” as well.”
Be lean and mean
Small businesses may not always have an advantage when going up against larger competitors, but in the immediate days following a disaster, being lean may be an asset in recovering more quickly.
“Being small means [you] do not have to conduct endless meetings to hash out approaches and strategies,” says Evan Bloom, CEO of Fortress Strategic Communications, a PR company specializing in crisis communications and enterprise risk management PR. “Small companies are less likely to have obstructive red tape, and they have greater freedom to make timely, decisive decisions.”
Leverage your size and responsiveness to make necessary decisions fast and get your doors back open.
Read more: https://www.businessnewsdaily.com/3099-disaster-recovery-tips.html