4 Emergencies That Small Businesses Must Prepare For

July 10, 2019 | 941 views

4 Emergencies That Small Businesses Must Prepare For
4 Emergencies That Small Businesses Must Prepare For

When it comes to emergencies in your business, the old adage is true: hope for the best, but prepare for the worst. No one wants to deal with business crises, but sometimes it happens. And you can be sure that it will happen at some point.

What can you prepare for now? Almost anything, but some of the weirdest things happen in life, and you will want as many resources at your fingertips as possible to defuse a chaotic and potentially threatening situation.

The most common business emergencies are just that—urgent situations related to running the business. Yes, you may need to have CPR and first aid refreshers for yourself and your staff, but the most common issues that will cause stress include these four emergencies that can throw a company off-track unexpectedly.

1. Natural and Utility Disasters 

With the latest glut of unpredictable weather, the Department of Homeland Security suggests several preparations for a natural disaster. Don’t underestimate this one. In the span of 18 months, we experienced waist-high flood waters that nearly destroyed a fleet of vehicles and a power outage that covered portions of two states. Nothing works. Not cell towers. Not gas pumps. Nothing. The DOHS site is worth a look.

2. Data Loss 

When this happens, or you think it happened, do not try to fix it yourself. Instead, prepare now by having a data recovery plan supported by IT professionals who know your system. Better yet, work to have duplicity for all your records. Maybe it’s as simple as external hard drives stored off-site and cloud storage for a fee. But do the research now so that your downtime is limited, and your actual loss eliminated as quickly as possible. No one wants to tell all their clients that credit card information is missing or compromised. And since nearly half of all users lose some data every year and 60% of businesses fail within 6 months of data loss, you should be running to a back-up service.

3. Payroll is Short

Payroll is a continual worry for small and growing businesses. Sometimes, a single unpaid invoice or a slow week (or a power outage) will mean the difference between having enough money in the bank or not. Delaying payroll until a client pays is not an option. Businesses have a legal obligation to pay employees in full and on time. If you’ve ever experienced this gut-wrenching situation, then you already know that having available funding is a savior. In addition to operating loans and payroll companies, business credit cards also offer programs that even out cash flow based on collectible, earned revenue. Pre-plan your back-up now, so you can sleep at night and not worry about angry employees and state regulators knocking on your door.

4. The Books Reveal Something is Wrong

Accounting is supposed to be an exact science. If you do it yourself, though, you know there are times when something doesn’t look right. Maybe there is employee theft, or maybe you made a simple error. The key here is not to wait. Get an experienced external accounting service to help you. It may cost more than you’d like, but it will provide the solution you need to uncover the problem and avoid it in the future.

We can’t foresee every possibility or crisis, but we can do our best to prepare for them. Back-ups can be scheduled, bookkeeping can be fixed, and vehicles can be moved to high ground in bad weather. Because unexpected challenges do occur, reduce their negative impact by being prepared.

Author Profile Jon Forknell is the Vice President and General Manager of Atlas Business Solutions, Inc., a software marketing company specializing in employee scheduling software, including ScheduleBase employee scheduling software, and other business software solutions. In the past, Jon has been recognized by the U.S. Small Business Administration as a SBA Young Entrepreneur of the Year. Atlas Business Solutions was named as one of Software Magazine’s Top 500 Software Companies in 2004 through 2007, and 2010, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017, and 2018.     

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