Disaster Plans Can Save Small Businesses

In business, we try to prepare for success in every way possible. Preparing for success can also mean being ready for a disaster. According to the Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) nearly 25% of business that close due to a catastrophy never re-open. IBHS is a nonprofit group that offers free disaster-planning information to small businesses and can be found on the web at www.ibhs.org.

The following are three simple steps outlined by the Wall Street Journal to make sure your work place is ready for anything.

1. Back It Up!

        – Back up all important records such as payroll, accounting, employee info, customer lists, inventory and receipts. This information should be stored in an area that is a minimum of fifty miles away from your business location. Another solution to protecting important data is to subscribe to an online data back up service provider and store the information online.

2. Insurance Coverage

     – Insurance policies can vary a great deal. Beyond the standard coverage for your business there are a few additional items that may save you in a time of disaster. Business-interruption insurance can cover loss of profits if your company is forced to close for a period of time. It can also pay for additional expenses such as renting a temporary office space. Having adequate property insurance is also crucial in order to make sure that the cost of replacing any damaged or destroyed equipment or buildings are covered. Be sure to take an inventory of your goods and store images of your business’ contents, as well as the receipts for purchases in your secure back up location.

3. Alternatives Will Have You Up and Running Faster

     – On occasion, try and deal with alternative vendors in different locations and create a list of these suppliers in case your primary sources are not operational. Investigate various work site options in case you are unable to return to your office. Also, determine the most efficient way to keep all of your employees informed about any changes that may occur.