By Meredith Wood, Editor-in-Chief, Fundera:
Maybe your business has never experienced a disaster firsthand. But as fires, floods, and hurricanes become more common – and continue to inflict billions of dollars of damage on businesses and local economies each year – chances are your business will experience a disaster at some point.
Before that happens, it’s important to be prepared. It may seem obvious that you should develop a disaster preparedness plan for your business. However, 70% of small business owners still say that they don’t have a written disaster plan in place. And that can be extremely dangerous for your business.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency estimates that 40% to 60% of small businesses never reopen after a disaster. Another estimate says that 90% of small businesses close within a year of a disaster if they can’t reopen within five days.
The key to reopening your business as quickly as possible after a disaster is to be prepared. It’s essential to think through any risks that your business could face, develop ways to respond to them, and communicate those plans with your employees.
Before a disaster, you should verify your Google My Business listing to ensure you can communicate with the public. You should also back up important documents and contact information and consider investing in smart devices to make the small business insurance claim process easier.
During a disaster, you should focus on making sure your employees are safe, communicating with the public, and keeping your business humming along. After a disaster, you can begin to rebuild and give back.
For in-depth tips, check out this infographic for how to disaster-proof your business before a disaster and how to get back on your feet after.
About the Author: Meredith Wood is the editor-in-chief at Fundera. She has specialized in financial advice for small business owners for almost a decade, and is sought out frequently for her expertise in small business lending. Her advice has appeared in the SBA, SCORE, Yahoo!, Amex OPEN Forum, Fox Business, American Banker, Small Business Trends, and more.