Business Emergency preparedness is Essential Learn How To Prepare Your Business for the Unexpected
No matter how much you plan for your business or how perfect your business plan is the unexpected can happen. Business emergency preparedness is essential for the survival of your business in the case of an emergency. No one ever wants to think bad things are going to happen to them, or their families, or their businesses but they do.
As a former child care director I taught my staff to always do their best to be prepared, proactive and preventative in order to keep our children safe. However just like working in childcare no matter how much you prepare, prevent and are proactive accidents and unexpected events may occur.
Examples of Unexpected Events that You Should Prepare for
Below is a list of unexpected events that could occur which could take your attention away from your business. Some of these listed below may be after affects of the event itself but nonetheless, they may prohibit your ability to run your business.
- Natural Disasters
- Postpartum Depression
- Medical Emergency
How to Prepare your Business for the Unexpected
Although emergencies and unexpected events can blindside us personally and professionally, we as responsible business owners can do a few things to prepare so that our businesses can sustain during this time. Below are some things business owners can do to prepare for the unexpected.
- Passwords: Make sure you have all the passwords for your business written out or stored using a program like 1password. If you use 1password make sure someone outside of your home has the master password.
- Savings: Keep a healthy amount of savings in your business account so that if something were to happen your bills could still be paid.
- Bills Automated: Set your business bills to be automatically paid through auto payment to ensure that all systems stay operational in the case of an emergency.
- Documents Secured: Make sure you have your important business documents in a fire and water safe storage box like this one. Documents like your last 3 years of tax returns, your business license, your resale license, and your articles of incorporation (or other articles stating your type of business) documents should be kept safe in this box. Also, make sure you tell a friend about the location of this box.
- Admins: If you run Facebook groups and/or Facebook pages you need to make sure you have a trusted person as an admin. If you do not have another person as an admin do that ASAP. Even if you don’t have an emergency you can get locked out of your page or group and you will want an admin to keep order until your privileges are reinstated.
- Community: Being a part of a supportive community is essential for being a successful online business owner. Friends in your community can help you through even the most challenging of times. If you aren’t part of a community I encourage you to POP Preneurs.
- Email Responders: People are typically very understanding and forgiving when you are transparent with them. I encourage you to set up an email responder letting your customers/readers know that due to unexpected events your response time may be longer than usual.
- Procedures: If you have a team make sure all of them know exactly what to do in case of an emergency. Have a set of procedures written and located in a place that everyone can access. If you are a solopreneur I would still recommend having a set of procedures written up for either your spouse or close friend to follow.
- Secure Valuables/Inventory: Business investments like computers, cameras, video equipment and your inventory if you have a physical product are very important to keep safe. Any items that are essential to the operations of your business should be quickly secured in a water-safe bag or container and moved to high ground. (in the case of a flood).
- Communication: If possible maintain communication with your students, customers, and subscribers through your email marketing system. Every business should have an email list (a database of email addresses of your customers or subscribers) that you can easily use to send out mass communications. Sending out an email to let everyone know what’s going on can really help ease the frustrations and confusion that many may have if you are unable to fulfill your commitments.
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Business Emergency Preparedness: What to do when the Unexpected Happens
Having a plan and being prepared for the unexpected events that can happen in life is an important part of being a responsible business owner. If something happens to you make sure that someone you trust can handle the systems and the procedures listed above in order to maintain the integrity of your business. Although we can’t prevent unexpected events from happening we can prepare for them to the best of our abilities and hopefully minimize the impact on our business.