Six Steps to Help Disaster-proof Your Small Business

On any given day, your business could face a number of potential disasters, both small and large. From flooding and fire, to cybercrime and workplace violence, your day-to-day operations could be turned upside in a matter of moments. And, while larger companies have additional resources and tools to navigate a major disruption, small businesses are all-too-often unprepared to manage a disaster.

According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), between 40 and 60 percent of small businesses without a disaster recovery plan close permanently after disaster strikes. Since having a plan for recovery can make all the difference after disaster, here are a few things you should do to help keep your business afloat.

  1. Consider your risks
    Depending on variables like your geographic location and the nature of your business, you might be at a higher risk for some disasters over others. Talk to your insurance provider about which risks to prioritize, as well as any changes you may need to make to your coverage.
  2. Develop a communication strategy
    Decide in advance how you will notify stakeholders, employees, customers, suppliers, and more, in the event of a disaster.
  3. Learn from others
    By studying how other small businesses have responded to disaster — especially those in your industry or location — you can learn what worked and use that knowledge to better prepare for your own potential crisis.
  4. Mitigate risk when possible
    There are certain things you can do to help reduce the effects of potential disaster, should one occur, including:

    • Ensuring your data and software are cloud-based and/or have off-site backups.
    • Identifying potential partners or alternative worksites
    • Auditing current safety measures for security
    • Communicating safety procedures with employees frequently
  5. Think of your disaster recovery plan as a blueprint
    Ideally, your plan will be broken down into actions and response times: i.e. what needs to be done within the first hours, days, weeks, and months of a crisis. By approaching your recovery as a step-by-step process, you can accomplish individual goals without focusing too much on an end game.
  6. Use available resources
    The following resources can provide additional help preparing for a business-related disaster:

You can’t always stop disaster from occurring, but you can prepare for it. With the right plans, tools, and resources, you can help your business weather any storm. For more information on risk control, learn how our risk professionals can provide specialized support.

This website is general in nature, and is provided as a courtesy to you. Information is accurate to the best of Liberty Mutual’s knowledge, but companies and individuals should not rely on it to prevent and mitigate all risks as an explanation of coverage or benefits under an insurance policy. Consult your professional advisor regarding your particular facts and circumstance. By citing external authorities or linking to other websites, Liberty Mutual is not endorsing them.