Can Your Business Survive a Disaster?
Despite your most optimistic hopes for the smooth running of your business, it’s a fact that things can and do go wrong. And for a small business, unforeseeable interruptions to trading can spell disaster. But with a little prudence and planning, you can do a lot to minimise the risks. Just follow our easy guide to help you prepare for the worst.
Don’t Put All Your Eggs in One Basket
Having a contingency plan means having alternatives. Try to maintain some level of relationship with more than one supplier and more than one distributor. If their chain of supply fails or their organisation goes bankrupt, you’ll have a second option to fill your orders and maintain your reputation.
Similarly, you should try to have multiple methods of communication within your organisation – don’t rely on landlines alone. If there’s room in your budget, equip your staff with internet-enabled mobiles, so your work won’t be interrupted by a problem with your service providers. It might even be worthwhile to consider an internal email system that can be accessed securely and remotely – so your employees don’t have to rely on your premises always being available.
Do the Research – Before it’s Too Late
When sudden disaster strikes, you don’t want to be scrambling to find new ways to deliver your products and services. Investigate alternative options for storage, delivery or renting short-term workshops now, and save yourself from a later panic.
Examine your business insurance policy to make sure it’s up to date. You may be able to arrange cover for business interuption, so that you can keep on going if disaster strikes.
Register with a recruitment agency to have access to a bank of temporary workers in case of an outbreak of illness in your team.
Save For a Rainy Day
Managing cashflow can be tough for a new or small business, but if you can factor an emergency reserve into your budget, you might find unexpected interruptions much easier to deal with.
You might suddenly have to switch to a different supplier with higher prices, or replace damaged goods in transit after your delivery van gets into an accident. Putting aside emergency funds might mean the difference between repeat business and no business.
Enlist Professional Help
There are a number of organisations who can be kept on call for emergency situations. You might need repairs for a broken-down vehicle, or 24-hour tech support if your website goes down. While these services come with an additional cost, they might end up paying for themselves by keeping your business going when you hit dire straits.