Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Be prepared in emergencies

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     to help you better manage your small business

     Bakeries, gift shops, lawyers, landscapers, salons, repair shops, therapists, restaurants, caterers and every other business can suddenly have a disaster on their hands. Every business person deserves to have thought about the possibility ahead of time--and planned for it. 

     Fire, flood, wind, blackouts, hackers and robbers can shut you down--whether you have a shop or an office or work at home or do business on the web. When the unthinkable happens, put your emergency plan into action and sail through.

     Example: Phil runs a small auto repair shop. When the electric suddenly went down, he had to close operations and lost some repair jobs. There was no power to his shop for three days. Phil quickly installed a power generator to a part of his shop and handled some jobs. Some customers were understanding, others were not--they moved on. Since then Phil has made arrangements for a larger, more powerful generator to have on hand to get through future power outages. He also talked with the owner of another small auto repair shop across town--they agreed to handle each other's customers in case of a future emergency.

     Example: Diane runs a small neighborhood convenience store. After she was robbed twice, she decided that it was up to her to defend herself and her business. By the time she called for help, the robber was gone without a trace. She bought a handgun, went through the proper licensing and training, and now keeps the firearm handy. She hasn't shot anyone yet, but she did send a knife-wielding robber on his way when she pointed the firearm at him. In the past, Diane was terrified of guns, but today she has the means to defend herself while awaiting the arrival of the police. She is much more confident--especially when she is in the store alone at night.

     Example: Amy sells pet foods and supplies online through her website. She does not have a store, but she manages her business in a rented backroom that is cheap and convenient. Orders come in, Amy fills the orders, and she ships out to her growing list of customers. One day, her computer crashed, obliterating lots of information and orders. She had always backed up everything once each week, but the current stuff was gone. It was a wake-up call. Today and every day, Amy now backs up all computer information in the cloud--using one of the available services. Her business is now prepared to ride out crashes and hackers.

     Emergencies are more than fire and flood. Give some thought to what might happen, and always be prepared for the unexpected.    

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