Handling Unexpected Business Disasters

Running a company can already be stressful, but throw in an unexpected business disaster and you might just find yourself feeling incapable and overwhelmed. There are various kinds of catastrophes that can occur, but one of the most common is a result of severe weather conditions such as snow, downpours, or drought.

Although this might not necessarily seem like a cause for companies to be concerned, it can actually have a large impact, especially when it comes to small businesses. For example, in a poll conducted by On Deck Capital, about 77 percent of small companies were affected negatively by severe weather conditions during the winter season. In addition, about 73 percent have had to shut down for up to five days, while 14 percent have had to close for 10 days or more. Half of these businesses reported that their sales had dropped by 50 percent because of bad weather.

In addition to severe weather conditions, there are other factors that can slow down your business, such as construction, theft, fire, or issues with suppliers. At any moment, an emergency could hit your company, and if you are not prepared it could leave you going downhill. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to help when a business disaster hits. This could include adjusting your hours to stay open for longer, seeking short-term financing, or reviewing your insurance coverage.

Another thing you can do to help in the middle of a crisis is to reach out online. By staying connected to your customers and keeping them updated on the situation, you are less likely to lose as much business. Let them know what is going on through email, social media, and your website. If you have to shut down for a few days due to certain conditions, let your customers know so they do not travel to your location only to find out that it is closed. This will only cause frustration and will make customers less likely to return. You can also consider offering services by phone or online, if possible.

If you are stuck at home or people are unable to make it to your location, use this time productively. Catch up on tasks such as organizing, identifying growth opportunities, and reaching out to sales leads. Make sure that you can easily communicate with your employees, vendors, and customers no matter where you are. This way, when a disaster hits, you’ll still be able to conduct business from anywhere.

Many things in life are unpredictable, and catastrophes are just one of them. However, by following these tips and being prepared, you can easily get back on top of things and successfully make it through your business disaster.
 

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