According to a survey by the Hartford Insurance Company, 36% of small business owners reported that the impact of Hurricane Sandy was significant and 52% had a loss of sales and revenues. Some reports estimate that 40% of businesses impacted by natural disasters go out of business. With the ever changing climate and increase in weather related storms, it is more important than ever to prepare for the unexpected.
Like many other local businesses, I thought that Berkely Brokerage Corp. was prepared to weather Sandy and recover quickly. Like many other businesses, I was wrong! The extended power outage made it difficult to conduct business because there were no phones, email or internet. Gas lines made it hard for staff to get to work. It also made deliveries by vendors and suppliers slow if not non-existent.
We have made many changes going forward in preparation for the next storm or natural disaster. We have revamped the way our email is delivered and our back-up systems work. Copies of important documents and forms are kept in a separate location. Employees are now able to work from home if necessary when there is no mass transit and long gas lines. We have a contingency plan in place to keep the business running should this all happen again.
Another important area to review is your insurance policies. Talk to your agent to see if you need flood insurance and ask about additional coverages such as business income insurance. Taking the time now will likely save you time and money going forward.
I am attaching an article from Hartford’s SMALLBIZ AHEAD e-magazine. I found it to be full of valuable information and tips to help you prevent your business from experiencing unnecessary losses. Take a read – you will be glad you did!