Chances are you have worked hard to build your business. The last thing you want is an unexpected emergency to come along and destroy what you’ve worked so tirelessly to build. Emergencies and disasters can take many different forms. The task of rebuilding your business - whether that be literally or figuratively - can be even more overwhelming than it was the first time around.
While you can’t prevent the unexpected, there are steps you can take to prepare your business for emergencies ahead of time. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s website, Ready.gov
offers a helpful guide for creating a continuity plan for your business, and there are several free plan templates
available online as well. No matter which guide or template you decide to use as a jumping off point, here are some tips to consider for your business disaster planning:
How Can I Prepare My Business for Different Kinds of Emergencies?
The best way to minimize the impact a disaster can have on your operations, employees, and bottom line, is to have a plan
. A business disaster
can range from natural events to a technology crisis
, a financial crisis
, reputation damage
, and more. When you’re creating an emergency plan, try to make it somewhat general so that it can be applied to a variety of scenarios that could affect your business.
- Create a team. Put together a team of people who will help to create a preparedness plan. Once assembled, the team can start by pulling critical documents and financial information that will help them make decisions. Run through some hypothetical disaster scenarios and get the team’s input on how they would respond. You may be pleasantly surprised with the ideas they come up with.
- Identify essential priorities. Part of your emergency preparedness plan should be to identify and prioritize the most essential parts of your processes and operations. You should identify anything that could potentially disrupt your operations or cause any hazards to your business.
- Keep it simple. You want to make sure your business continuity plan is easy to understand and implement. In an emergency, you don’t want to waste time having to decode certain sections of the plan or have to make sense of what was intended. You should ensure your plan includes a clear communication strategy that you can use during an emergency to notify all necessary parties. Compile an emergency contact list that includes vendors, suppliers, customers, and other key individuals. Consider including an emergency messaging strategy in your plan as well. This could take the form of a notification on your website, a post on social media, or potentially a text message or email notification.
- Be confident in your staff. Although no business owner wants to think about a disaster, you should be proactive and ensure that you’re hiring and training people that can effectively respond to a disaster and follow any documented emergency plans.
In addition to a business preparedness plan, it is essential that you have insurance for your business
. It can be a critical piece of getting your business back up and running. Insurance can potentially help cover
losses incurred during a period of recovery. If you currently do have insurance for your business, you should review your policy and make sure you have adequate coverage, especially if your business has expanded
or your operations have changed since you first took out your policy.
Don’t Forget About an Emergency Fund
You’ve probably heard of the importance of having an emergency savings account for your personal needs, and it’s just as important for your business to have access to emergency funds. A disaster can strike your business in many different ways, from an illness to a flood or fire. An emergency fund can allow your business to keep paying the bills when an emergency strikes. When creating an emergency fund
for your business, a good rule of thumb is to determine how much it typically costs to run your business
for one month and aim for a savings goal of at least that amount.
An emergency situation can be chaotic and stressful for a business owner. Having a business continuity plan in place can help you feel more prepared and confident and can help your organization recover from a disaster more effectively and quickly. Having a preparedness team in place can also help to take some of the burden off of yourself.
No matter where you’re at in the planning process, it’s always a good idea to have a dedicated business banker
in your corner. At BankFive, our team of experienced business professionals are ready to assist small business owners with everything from financing
, business management solutions
, savings goals
and more. Don’t hesitate to contact us