Do You Have a Business Continuity Plan?
In the event that your business is hit by a disaster, whether it is a natural or man made occurrence, if you are unable to keep your operations running then you are not going to be able to continue to create revenues. If you are taken out of commission for too long, the ability of your business to reopen becomes doubtful. In order to safeguard against the possibility of being taken out by a disaster, your business should have an emergency continuity plan in place minimizing the downtime that you need to get back into the game.
Have an immediate response plan to stop loss during a disaster situation. When a disaster strikes, the way you respond to it as it happens can make a big difference in the way things will go during the aftermath. You should have a well understood response plan in place that allows you to evacuate your employees and protect your location and resources to the best of your ability in the face of a disaster. The effectiveness of your immediate response may be what saves your business from major damage, so be sure to work out a response with your employees that they all know their roles in and are ready to execute should the worst happen.
Know how to apply for disaster relief if you ever need it. If you are hit hard, knowing how to apply for insurance claims or disaster relief can help you to cut down on the time it takes you to file for assistance. When searching for disaster loans and filing insurance claims, especially in the wake of a disaster, things can take a while to get going. The faster you initiate these processes, the faster you will be able to get some relief for your business, so be sure that you understand what you would need to do should you be put in a position where you need to obtain capital.
Have a plan for fixing damage that occurs as well as continuing operations during rebuilding. In your plan on how to respond to a disaster, you should ideally have ideas for how to continue your operations with limited use of equipment or staff. At the very least, having your staff reach out to customers to explain what happened and inform them of delays on services is something that should be done right away, since the difference between understanding the issue and being willing to work through it and being fed up and angry may be as little as a day or two between response times. The faster you can notify customers and begin to address their concerns after a disaster, the better. If you are able to continue operating out of your location, then do so while cordoning off any compromised areas for safety. If you are not able to work out of your normal space, then you should have a backup space that you can at least use as an office in order to reach out to your business partners and begin to fix the lose ends left by whatever happened.
Photo Credit to Pete on Flickr