Corey Dargan: Hi! I am Corey with Wells Fargo & Company. Major disasters can have a crippling impact on your business if you're not adequately prepared. Only 31% of business owners in a recent Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index survey said their businesses are extremely or very prepared for such disasters, another 46% indicated they are only somewhat prepared, and over half indicated they are not concerned about a disaster impacting their business. That's risky.
The best time to respond to a disaster is before it happens. Businesses that are forced to close down following a disaster run the risk of never being able to reopen their doors. Now while there is nothing you can do to lower the risk of a natural disaster occurring, there are measures you can take to protect your company's bottom-line from nature's fury.
First, put together a disaster recovery plan for your business. Start by creating a business inventory which includes photos of your company's computers, mobile devices, and other equipment. Make a record of item's descriptions, serial numbers along with other respective receipts, and keep it in a safe off-site location.
Next, develop a communication strategy to contact key people after a disaster. Your list should include employee contact information, local and state emergency management agencies, major clients, contractors, suppliers, realtors, financial institutions, and insurance agents.
Also, make sure to back up all data. It's just smart business to regularly back up your computer data files and store them off-premises. And in the case of a disaster, this back up will prove invaluable.
Another important step is to create a contingency plan. This can include an evacuation strategy, and the systematic way of notifying employees when the building is physically inaccessible, and when it will be open for business again.
Finally, make sure your business insurance coverage is up-to-date, and adequate to cover all of your needs. Getting back to business as quickly as possible after a disaster pays dividends beyond your company's bottom-line.