Natural Disasters – How do you manage your business when your world is crashing in around you?
I hope that those in line to get the hurricane or have already been hit are not struggling too much and are safe! We often do not discuss how we manage our business through things like this. So I thought since it was on many people’s minds and hearts this week, it may be a good topic to go over. General Guidelines for When Natural Disasters Strike Managing our business, in general, we should do some of these things, but often do not stop to take time to do them.
TIPS TO PREPARE YOUR BUSINESS FOR A NATURAL DISASTER:
- Prepare ahead – there is nothing like not having a ‘plan’ to put doubt in your client’s and team’s minds as someone who does not seem to have a plan in place. Having a plan and letting your clients know BEFORE Disaster strikes will reassure your clients (and team) that you still the right person to take care of their specific needs – whether it is marketing, administrative, IT, etc.. This will affirm their confidence in you is in the right place.
- Backup Everything!!!! – This cannot be stressed enough. You must back up everything – for yourself/your business as well as your clients. Doing this on a cloud-based system is good, but also doing this on an external drive is smart. If the internet or power were down you can be sure no data will be lost.
- Have Processes in Place – This is so important and becomes even more important as we grow. Be sure to have everything you or your business (including your team) documented somewhere. Make sure it is somewhere others get to also. If for some reason you were injured or unable to work during or immediately after a disaster it is important to have your processes in place for someone else to be able to run the business. Which brings us to our next tip.
- Have Leaders in Place – Whether you do it all alone or have a team in place make sure someone knows what to do if you are unable to perform your normal duties. Be sure your clients know and have access to this person (providing the information ahead of the disaster is always a good idea). Make sure, if you have a team that they are also aware of who contact if needed.
- Double Check Your Insurance Coverage Before a storm hits. Touch base with your agent and request the information. IF you do not have a business insurance policy and E & O Insurance today is a good reminder to be sure to get that in place! Having peace of mind that any damages to your business including office equipment, lost wages sometimes and more will keep you focused on the necessities of the moment.
- Communication plan for emergencies. Putting a communication plan in place and notifying your team and your clients is so important. Whether this is a work cell phone number to text or some other means of communicating like email if power is still up will reassure your clients that they will be able to reach you.
- Plan for the worst but hope for the best. As difficult as that is for me, as I like to be positive, it is necessary in case the aftermath is long before you are up and running again. Be sure to check into State & Government Assistance Programs, FEMA (in the U.S.) and others. Do this not just for you but also for your team so that you can add this to your processes but also to reassure your team that there are ways they can receive help as well if it will be some time before things are up and running again.
These are a few tips to help you prepare whether for this storm or another. I hope you will never need these tips, but I want you to be able to prepare just in case.
Entrepreneur online magazine helped to inspire this article. If you would like to read their tips you can do so here: http://bit.ly/2kiX9Xl