A lot of businesses were hurt when the COVID pandemic started. Falling profits and disrupted systems made it difficult for a lot of operations to survive. Now, with the recovery starting, businesses are coming back. This time around, many entrepreneurs are taking stock of their preparations and are thinking of what they can do to protect themselves from a major disaster like COVID. Here are some options for business owners who want to be safe.
Start Making Risk Assessments
The first thing you should be doing is to determine what risks you are facing. Risk assessments look at all the potential dangers to your business and estimate your level of preparedness for it. Some of these dangers are expected. For example, if you live in an area that is prone to tropical storms, then your business should be ready for that to happen. It would be best if you also considered some far-fetched emergencies. In the past, no one did that, but no one saw COVID happening at all, so it is better to be safe than sorry nowadays.
It is not just natural disasters that you need preparation. Other emergencies, like cybersecurity attacks and theft, can hit your business. Checking your preparedness for these incidents should give you an idea on the kinds of things that would make you ready in such situations.
Start Making Plans
Now that you know what you can expect, it is time to start making plans. While different situations require different answers, your goals should be the same in all of them. First, you will need to protect your employees. Besides being your loyal workers, losing employees is bad for any business. Each one is an investment in terms of training and experience. A good employee can quickly help you recover from a disaster. The other thing you have to think about is protecting your customers. Depending on the emergency, you might have the chance to help out your customers in some way. For example, during the COVID pandemic, some companies extended help to some of their customers. This is a great way to ensure customer loyalty and get some good press. Finally, you will need to protect your location and equipment, which are sizable investments. There are various measures you can take, like installing automatic sprinklers or something similar. If you can protect them properly, then the expense of the protection is worth it.
Have Emergency Funds
Similar to the idea of saving for a rainy day, having an emergency fund is a great idea. It can provide you with a cushion in case of bad times. Your main challenge is where you can get the money to fill the fund. There are several sources that you can tap. For example, any windfall that your business gets should go to the fund. Tax refunds and other surprises are a great source; since they aren’t part of your planned budget, it is better to just put them somewhere safe instead of messing with your calculations. Additionally, setting aside a portion of your profits regularly can allow you to build up the funds.
Get Some Insurance
Emergency funds will not be enough for big disasters. This is where you need to work with insurance companies. A good insurance plan can provide you with coverage bigger than your funds as long as you pay your premiums. The problem is that some situations are not covered by insurance. If you still want insurance for them, then consult with a captive insurance attorney so that you can set up a captive insurance company. This allows you to have the protection you can trust and fully control.
Backup All Your Data
Nowadays, data is a very important part of any business. They can also be a big help when it comes to disasters. Customer records will allow you to rebuild your business if necessary quickly. The problem is that it can be pretty fragile. If you only have a single copy of important documents on your computer, then you need to create backups for them. If you are on the cloud, then this makes it easier. Keep your backups regularly updated so that you can quickly recover the data. It’s not just data you have to back up. Important documents like contracts need to be kept physically safe so put them in a fireproof box or something similar.
Preparing your business to handle the next big disaster is essential. The world is changing a lot, and things like climate change and civil unrest can threaten the profitability of your business. Ensuring that your company can weather it is only smart. It also helps your community if your business keeps itself operational.