What if a tornado destroyed your home tomorrow? If you are running a home-based business, you may be faced with the loss of not only time but also your inventory, records, and important data. Make sure you are prepared for the worst.
In addition to natural disasters, business owners commonly forget to make plans for their businesses in the event that something happens to them personally. If you are the only one running your company, an unexpected injury or serious illness could mean the end of your business.
To prepare for a disaster — such as a flood, tornado, hurricane, fire, or other natural event — you will need to purchase insurance to protect your interests. Then you will need to take some steps to make sure that your data will not be lost should a disaster strike.
While insurance may cover your physical equipment, it will not help you restore precious customer information from a soaked or burned hard drive. Therefore, make sure to back up your data and to store it in a secure location that is safe from fire, water, and other problems.
If a natural disaster hits your entire town, however, it may be impossible to retrieve your data. In this case, you may benefit from an online service that allows you to store your information on the Internet. Iron Mountain Digital is just one such company that offers online backup with several tiers of service depending on the amount of data you need to back up.
It is not as easy to prepare for illness or injury. If you do not have any employees, your absence could be disasterous to your business. Your customers may not care that you have a 105-degree fever or a broken leg. They want their products immediately, not when you feel well enough to ship them. And chances are you have competitors who would be happy to serve them.
Make sure you have a plan so that customers are taken care of if you are ill and unable to provide the services that they expect. Ideally, you should work out an arrangement with a family member, close friend, or industry colleague who is capable of handling things for you until you are well enough or able to return. You can also use third-party fulfillment and voice mail services if you are unable to find anyone who can help out during this type of crisis.
Personal disaster does not need to spell the end of your company. Take some time now to make some emergency plans for your business. Although emergencies cannot be scheduled or fully anticipated, if you plan ahead, you can circumvent many problems that can arise for home-based business owners when disaster strikes.