Disasters can really delay a business’s production, which in turns affects the generation of income. When we look back at disasters like Hurricane Katrina, we saw a major shutdown of the regional business sector. Due to lack of disaster recovery plans, many business from the French Quarter in New Orleans to Shreveport were left in the financial doldrums, unopened even long after reconstruction.
When disaster strikes, it’s normally the operations aspect of the business sector that gets hit the hardest. It’s extremely hard to recoup funds lost once operations are down and some companies don’t recover at all. The idea here is to recover your business as soon as possible without losing much time or potential revenue.
If you want to safeguard your business and are looking to have a preventative disaster plan in place, here are a few tips that can help you pick up the pieces as fast as possible. This way, you can get operations back on track and revenue flowing.
First of all, your business needs to have insurance–ideally, full-coverage. If anything goes wrong, (i.e. chemical spill), you know your insurance company will cover it. However, one of the best ways to deal with a company disaster is to call your insurer immediately. Most insurers have a quick response team that will go to your site and assess the situation, which can help you salvage materials or recoup losses.
The U.S. usually doesn’t have yearly natural disasters that devastate the same communities repeatedly, but there are man-made disasters that do. As stated, one of the most common company disasters are chemical spills. Phoenix, AZ, which happens to be a crossroads between east and west coast shipments, has seen it’s share of chemical spills, the last one being the Phoenix North Transfer Station and Materials Recovery Facility, which caused a company-wide crisis and resulted in 20 people getting sick. Luckily, insurance and the prevailing Phoenix business continuity helped this particular organization get back on their feet quickly to help those who fell ill in the aftermath.
The great thing about insurance companies that offer full coverage is that many also offer protection against damage made to shipments and shipment-centered satellite company locations. Even during a crisis, a community needs business continuity.
The assistance of the federal government is always available to businesses that are recovering from a disaster. Organizations like your local Small Business Administration through the Office of Disaster Assistance can help by injecting funds into your business to recoup machinery or materials that were lost.
Crisis communication is a must when it comes to mending your company after disaster strikes. Make sure everyone in your company is up to date on what’s happening. At times, disasters can leave employees out of a job, which is why it’s important to let them know about the company’s recovery. Your customers also need to be informed. The less informed they are, the more likely they are to move on to a competitor, which means that you are losing not only a customer base but post-recovery revenue.
As we discussed above, one of the most important steps in disaster recovery is to have a business continuity plan, meaning you have to be able to continue at least small percentage of your company’s operations even after a disaster. Going back to the Phoenix example, if you’re business is at risk for chemical spills, you may want to consider colocation, or connecting your data systems to a Phoenix colo or cloud service. This way, your company’s data can be stored outside of the potential disaster site, thus helping you continue and restore operations.
Keeping these tips in mind will not only help your company bounce back after a disaster, but in the end will help you generate most of the revenue that was lost. Remember, take preventative measures that will help insure business continuity and keep that pipeline of income flowing for you and your employees.