Disasters can strike anywhere at any time. Whether it is man-made or natural, disasters can be crippling especially to small businesses. When you think about it, what small businesses should be investing in is a feasible emergency contingency plan. But the reality is, 62% of surveyed small businesses do not have an emergency plan in place.
An emergency contingency plan is a plan that is designed for preparation in case things go wrong. It is in effect, a preparation for anything that could happen. Having a contingency plan does not mean that you are dwelling on the negative, it means that you are giving extra protection for you business. Any business can suffer from serious incidents which may impede normal operations. When incidents like that happen and there’s no contingency plan, you may lose the business.
The first task you need to undertake in order to create a comprehensive contingency plan is to make a list of possible disasters that may affect your normal business operations. This may be quite a long list depending on the location of your business. It would also be best if you could take the time to rate the probability of those incidents so that you would know how big the impact of each incident might be.
Once you have assessed the types of emergencies that could happen, the next step is to make a draft of your plan. This should include milestones until you get back to your normal business operations. The first milestone could be what you need to do once disaster strikes. The second milestone is to know which of your operations need to be resumed as soon as possible.
Your emergency contingency plan needs more than just a draft on a piece of paper on what to do during any emergency. You should also test whether the plan will work or not. Like everything else, you would be well-guided if you test the plan first. The plan needs to be evaluated so that you are sure whether it addresses the needs of your growing business. The last step you should remember to keep order amidst any chaos that any disaster might bring is to stick to the plan as much as possible. This means that your plan should be updated and applicable to current business circumstances.
There is no reason why small business owners shouldn’t have an emergency plan in place. In fact, it is vital since small businesses have everything to lose since disasters usually cannot be averted. If small business owners can afford to spend money and time on tools to market their business, surely the time and resources needed to come up with a sound emergency plan isn’t such a financial drain. It is better to invest in emergency preparedness now rather than sit around, wait and hope that an incident does not happen.
So if you take a moment to think about all the ramifications that result from emergencies, can your small business survive a disaster?