With the official start of hurricane season looming, and the ravages of Hurricane Harvey still wreaking untold damage in Texas, there's a question I keep hearing: How can I protect myself and my business from natural disasters?
Protecting your business consists of a lot more than just making sure that your physical business location is secure. You must also take into account the effect that natural disasters can have on your finances.
Natural disaster or no, it's always a good idea to protect your finances. The best and most sophisticated businesses in the world, no matter how passionately managed and led, won't be successful if their finances aren't managed correctly.
Making sure that you and your business are protected financially during an emergency, however, takes a lot more than insurance and technology. Let's examine the top four ways that you can protect your business without breaking the bank.
1. Organize your financial documents.
In the aftermath of a natural disaster the last thing you are going to want to be worrying about is paperwork. That's one reason why it's so important to make sure your documents are organized, backed up, and that you are aware of where these backups are located. A little preparation can go a long way.
2. Document your inventory.
Since disasters, by definition, are unexpected and unpredictable in nature, you should always keep an up-to-date record of the inventory you have on hand. Inventory represents an investment you have made in your business -- so it makes sense to keep an eye on exactly how much you have.
3. Analyze the technology side.
Every business, from engineering to automobile repair, has functions and tools that need to be continuously running. They need to be backed up, either with power or data storage. Making a list of these critical functions -- and then making sure you have sufficient back up capability -- will help keep your most important business functions secure until you can get back to the office.
4. Keep the lights on.
As a natural disaster looms -- and then strikes -- one thing that often goes by the wayside is the payment of routine bills. It might seem unimportant in the face of a disaster.
Making sure to automate, or at least track and monitor, what bills are paid during which time of the business cycle may be able to help spare you some unwelcome surprises. Dealing with the aftermath of a hurricane or other natural disaster is challenge enough without the extra stress of wondering if all your bills are being paid.
Natural disasters, be they blizzards, hurricanes, or a cyber-attacks against your business, are traumatic events that challenge even the most sophisticated businesses. By taking a step back and looking at the big picture of your business, you can tackle these straightforward ways to help keep your business secure.