Preparing for Emergencies or Disasters!

Are you a solo-preneur either working in a small office or out of the home and haven’t planned for disasters or other emergencies? This post is for you!

In news of recent natural disasters this past season I was inspired to write a post about preparing your business in case of such events. Last year (2010) during this time, California was experiencing quite a few earthquakes and inspired me to write a post on how to survive the apocalypse – here. All kidding about the apocalypse aside, disasters are unpredictable and covering our business bases can at least put our minds at ease.

Here’s the plan of attack:

1. Photo inventory (include serial numbers for business equipment and software) and valuate all business machinery, assets and products. Purchase business insurance including business interruption so anything that might get destroyed will easily be replaced with insurance money and you’ll also get some cash to float your weekly business liabilities. Also as equally important purchase  long and short term disability insurance for yourself in case you’re not able to function at your lively-hood again!

2. Write down passwords and business instructions so someone can close out your business if god-forbid you expire, put in a safe location or a bank lock box and be sure to tell someone how to access it via a living trust or in a safe file cabinet.

3. Back up files to an external hard drive daily or as needed. Important! Send these computer backups to an offsite location such as Amazon S3 Web Services.

4. Send client/customer email addresses and contact info to a remote location like MailChimp so you can easily bulk notify them of any important business announcements.

5. Put all your important business files and software (corporate charters, insurance policies, business receipts, financials, etc.) in a locked metal file cabinet that is (hopefully) disaster proof. Store copies off-site such as an out of state relative or in a bank lock-box. If you have to relocate your business temporarily, having this software might be essential so choose its location wisely!

6. Purchase surge protectors and battery backup devices (UPS) to protect your computers, phones, and other equipment needed daily or is expensive to replace.

Is there anything else that you would do to prepare your business for disasters or emergencies? Leave a comment!

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