No matter how prepared you are as a small business owner; no matter how organized you are… things happen that are beyond your control. If you live or work anywhere around the Gulf Coast in the last six years, you know exactly what I am talking about. Being prepared for a disaster can only make your life easier if something should occur. Be smart and don’t think the infamous “it won’t happen to me” that seems to get everyone in trouble in the movies.
Know and review your policies. If you don’t know what you can cover, it can extend the process quite a bit when you must make a claim on your insurance. If something should happen, you want to know where your own hard-earned money has gone. Also, see about “business interruption” insurance. It can come in handy in such cases as a hurricane or gulf oil spill where your business is interrupted for extended periods of time.
Think about working in a different environment. Sometimes your usual “work site” isn’t going to be enough and when that happens, being mobile can be a huge advantage. There is a reason that clouds and tablets and other devices are so widely used. A laptop or desktop will only get you so far during crunch time.
Back, back, back it up. I’m serious. Back up your files. Now! It’s so crucial to your survival in some respects. In an emergency, you want to be mobile, but your files must be also. Also, be smart about your security; know what is going on with your devices. The more you research and know about your own equipment the smarter you can be when you need to be.
Be current. Know the current phone numbers and e-mails that are most important to your business. Although this should be covered in backing it up, many people don’t bother with newer technology. This is one aspect, if that’s the case, where you are truly at a disadvantage.
You may never be prepared enough because disasters are always difficult to expect and even harder to overcome. The point is to make the recovery easier on yourself and that means on your business. Stay focused on your goals for your business after you assess the damage to your personal life. Everyone I know has experienced a disaster that affected their entire lives, personal and professional. If you know it’s going to be an uphill battle, you’re already ahead of the game.