Recovering from a natural disaster on a personal level can be time-consuming, traumatizing and difficult all around; but what about your business? Check this out (from the Gazette in 2016):
- Nearly 40% of small businesses close after a disaster, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
- 75% of small businesses do not have a disaster recovery plan in place, according to a 2015 survey of 500 small business owners conducted by Nationwide.
- 52% of small businesses say it would take at least three months to recover from a disaster, according to the same survey.
These statistics are incredibly discouraging! These numbers are shockingly high. The way things have gone this year in our country and our hurricane prone zones, I'm inclined to think these numbers will be higher this year. After our Harvey flooding, we now have snow days...snow days in Houston? Businesses have been closed for 1 or more days due to the roads. This does not seem like a major disaster, but as a small business owner it affects your bottom line.
Here are 8 Tips on How to Get Your Business Up and Running After a Natural Disaster
1. Check your disaster preparedness plan - If you've been proactive, you'll have a plan in place. This will need revising after each disaster you are affected by, but having something in place before anything ever happens is the first step to success.
2. Communicate - this is KEY! We communicate every day, to people we love, hate and pass by. Carry this communication to customers, employees and any important party your business counts on and who count on you.
3. Get Help - get disaster help as soon as you can. Utilize all your help channels, and fast. If you have a plan in place, then contacting any local organizations, government agencies and community groups should be easy. Delegate these tasks with any employees or able community members. Don't be afraid to ask!
4. Protect and Help Your Employees - who are the bones and soul of your company? Your employees. Make sure they are getting the help they need. Show grace and understanding during these tough times, working with them and not against them.
5. Be Flexible - don't let stress get the best of you. Be flexible with your store hours, prices, online shipping, employee schedules or community needs.
6. Reach Out to the Community - if you've been hit, chances are the community as a whole needs help. Find the immediate needs the surround you and help them in whatever capacity you can. Have extra inventory that's applicable to needs? Donate it. Have employees that can help with manual labor? Send them out. Stay present and flexible, the community will take notice.
7. Stay Positive - having a positive attitude after natural disasters sounds cliche, but we see the benefit in this. Taking charge of emotional needs in a positive way can have major impacts on your employees quality of life, your vendors and the community. Be a leader for those who are unsure of what's to come. Show them rebuilding starts with a positive notion.
8. Start Saving - if you haven't already. You may have rainy day funds, fun money, and typical business saving, but do you have a disaster savings account? You may never need to use this money, but it's better to have than to not.
These tips could define how you rebuild after a natural disaster. Don't become one of these insane statistics! Planning is KEY.
Our next article will be about PLANNING FOR DISASTER.
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