Here are a few things your can do – at no cost – to jump-start your business continuity plan:
Determine your greatest risk potential. It might come from loss of heat, frozen pipes (which can burst, causing water damage), or loss of access caused by icy conditions. What would happen if you had to shut down your business for several days? Look at the building where you do business and assess the property damage risks. If you do this early enough, you’ll have time to make structural upgrades that can prevent possible future storm, wind, water or earthquake damage.
Calculate the cost of business interruptions for one week, one month and six months. Once you’ve done that, you’ll be able investigate insurance options or build a cash reserve that will allow your company to function during the post-disaster recovery phase. It’s also a good idea to develop professional relationships with alternative vendors, in case your primary contractor can’t service your needs. Place occasional orders with them so they regard you as an active customer when you need them.
Review your insurance coverage. Contact your agent to find out if your policy is adequate for your needs. Consult with a business insurance expert to advise you on the right coverage for your situation. When buying insurance, ask “How much can I afford to lose?” It’s a good idea to know the value of your property.
Build a crisis communications plan so you’ll be able to make sure your staff, customers, vendors, and contractors know what’s going on. Establish an email alert system. Make sure you have primary and secondary email addresses for your employees, and everyone you do business with. Create a Facebook page, and use Twitter to keep the public aware you’re still in business, and that you’re in the process of recovering after the disaster.
Consider a Telework Policy – Prepare for the possibility that employees won’t be able to get to work by developing an emergency telework policy. Read “How to Make Telework Work for your Small Business ” for more information.
The SBA and Agility Recovery Solutions recently hosted a free webinar giving tips on how to prepare your business for winter weather. Regardless of where you run your business, all kinds of risks exist, and small businesses are particularly vulnerable. Access how to prepare your business for winter weather power point slides .
On Tuesday, December 20, the U.S. Small Business Administration and Agility Recovery Solutions will host a webinar focusing on best practices to help those in leadership positions navigate the road to recovery. Management Obligations during Disaster Recovery Webinar