Is Your Small Business Prepared for Disaster?

If a major power outage, flood, or some other crisis—manmade or otherwise—occurred in your local community tomorrow, would your retail store be prepared to make it through the disruption?

According to the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety, one out of four businesses forced to close because of a disaster never reopen. Small businesses—the backbone of the U.S. economy—are especially vulnerable.

As a business owner, it’s important to have a continuity plan in place that will enable you to endure and recover from any type of disruption.

Why Continuity Planning is So Important

Everything from natural disasters and cyber attacks to major power outages and store break-ins can disrupt your business at any moment—often when you least expect it—and the repercussions for being caught off guard can be severe.

Here are 3 important reasons for you to prepare now:

1. Prevent Market Share Loss

When you have a business continuity plan in place, you stand a better chance of staying competitive and curtailing the loss of revenue and customers. A solid continuity plan will boost customer confidence, ensuring them that you’ll be able to provide continuous delivery of goods and services during a crisis. This will keep them from going to your competitors if a disaster endangers your community.

2. Protect Your Brand 

Having a business continuity plan demonstrates that you’re committed and prepared when it comes to protecting your employees, customers, and vendors. This proactive attitude boosts employee morale and the public’s view of your business. When people are confident in your business’s ability to continue operating through disruptions, customers, staff members and clients will continue to view your brand in a positive light.

3. Improved Communications

With a well thought out continuity plan, your business will benefit from improved communications in your own organization, as well as with customers, suppliers, vendors, and key stakeholders. This is a viable way to improve daily operations in times of stability and crisis.

How to Prepare Your Business for the Unexpected

Don’t have the time or resources to create an extensive business continuity plan? No worries! Head on over to Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety  and download their OFB-EZ toolkit, which will guide you step-by-step through the planning process so you’ll end up with a solid blueprint that helps you:

  • identify essential business activities for continued operation during a disruption
  • handle any risks your organization faces
  • create an easy-to-use recovery plan tailored to your business so you’ll have confidence if the worst occurs


“Business continuity planning is vital to survival and should not be put off indefinitely as you focus on today’s challenges,” says  Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety. “It’s important to devote enough time and attention to planning for the future, even when that future may involve events that are unpleasant to think about and, hopefully, not likely to happen.”

The time for planning is past when the crisis is upon you. Take steps now to gather information and develop operational contingencies that will see you through times of disruption and recovery.

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Sherene Funk is the author of the contemporary romance Autumn in Your Arms and two small business e-books. She is a voracious reader who owns more books than she can ever read in this lifetime. A graduate of Brigham Young University, she worked in advertising for many years before moving to her current writing position at Rain Retail Software. She researches non-stop to see what successful retailers do and loves to share what she learns with small business owners.