How a Small Business Can Recover from Disasters
When disaster strikes, it can be devastating for a small business. Whether it’s a localized flood, power outage, theft or a large-scale natural disaster, it’s essential for your business to have a clear and thorough recovery plan. Don’t let a sudden disaster force you to close down your new business, but follow these steps to prevent the worst from happening.
You can’t always prevent a disaster, but you can create a comprehensive recovery plan to make the most of the situation. If your business is damaged from a disaster, your first step should be to contact your insurance agent. Insurance companies have certain steps to follow in the event of a disaster. These are in place to help you plan accordingly and receive help quickly, but failure to follow their guidelines could delay your process or even cause your claim to be denied.
Next, gather your financial and business records if you’re able to safely enter your building. It’s best to keep these on hand in case of an emergency, preferably off your business property in a safe place. Your insurance company may ask for various forms and files, but it’s safe to have your current business contracts, a year’s worth of invoices, last year’s tax returns and bank statements.
After you report all this to your insurance agent and wait for a claim, you may want to research business recovery financing. Businesses can receive substantial loans and grants to restore their business in the event of a disaster. The Small Business Administration offers many different disaster programs, but you can also find similar financing available through private institutions or conventional banks.
Have your insurance agent and a contractor inspect the extent of the damage, following your insurance company’s steps for proper procedure. Your building may be in better condition than it initially appears, or it may need substantial work to be ready for operation. Work with qualified professionals to get your business back on its feet quickly and open your doors to help your community.
Be cautious of any scams or fake insurance information, loan offers and contractors. There are many individuals who attempt to take advantage of small business owners in the aftermath of a disaster. Don’t be fooled by these scams. Ask to see the credentials of any contractor or professional you work with in relation to your disaster relief, and choose a qualified loan provider and contractor to ensure hassle-free restoration of your business location.