Your small business is susceptible to some form of disaster, probably several. But, of course, you don’t have a preparedness plan or a recovery plan. As I’m writing this, more thunderstorms are blowing through, but I don’t have any written recovery plans for my business! (I’m not in any danger here, but the thunder is really loud!)
No matter where you are, disaster can occur. Fires, floods, even being near a road means you could be affected by a toxic spill on the roadway. Are you prepared to evacuate, at a moment’s notice, and possibly for several days? That’s just one example. Every area has its own set of potential problems. Planning and preparation would seem to be obviously required.
Yet two-thirds of small business owners said they didn’t need a plan, in a survey commissioned by Office Depot. But do we realize that almost half of business that experience a disaster without a plan never reopen?
So how do we get started? Office Depot is offering a free planning resource for disaster preparedness. It’s a good resource for walking through the process of developing simple and inexpensive plans that can make a real difference in a disaster. Hat tip to Our Friend Anita Campbell, who wrote a great post on this resource.
Look around for local resources. You might get some help from your local emergency management group. Woodward (Oklahoma) City/County Emergency Management Director Matt Lehenbauer discussed small business preparedness in the Woodward News.
And as businesses make emergency plans, Lehenbauer said one of the major concerns should be how to get the business back up and running as soon as possible.
He suggested that business owners and managers take simple steps such as storing data off-site so they would still be able to access it if something happened. Keeping good records is also important in order to apply for assistance.
Lehenbauer said it is important to develop a disaster plan.
Start making your plans today.
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Becky started Small Biz Survival in 2006 to share rural business and community building stories and ideas with other small town business people. She and her husband have a small cattle ranch and are lifelong entrepreneurs. Becky is an international speaker on small business and rural topics.