Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Handling 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 and robbers can shut you down--whether you have a shop or an office or work at home. When the unthinkable happens, go into action with that plan you've already thought about.

     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 for three days. Phil quickly installed a generator to supply power to part of the shop and this salvaged some jobs. He also made arrangements for a larger, more powerful generator to have on hand in case of future power outages. Some customers were understanding, others not so much--they moved on.

     Example: Diane runs a small neighborhood convenience store. After she was robbed twice, she decided that it was up to her to defend herself. 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.

     Example: Jill runs a gift shop located on Main Street in her town. The river is blocks away, but it flooded one night in November. With little warning, Jill rushed to her shop to get things off the floor as water began seeping in. The next day, she sloshed her way through several inches of muddy water to survey the damage. Everything the water touched was ruined, and it took two weeks to clean up the mess. Customers and townspeople were generous with their time helping Jill get the gift shop back in operation for at least part of the holiday shopping season. Jill had flood insurance which paid for much of the clean-up, ruined stock and fixtures. But the lost sales were gone forever, and the shoppers who came had to put up with flooring contractors and sheet rock installers. 

     Emergencies are not unusual in business. Power outages, flooding and storms can come with little if any warning. And robbers can show up anytime. Be prepared. 

     With some forethought and a little preparation, you can ride out just about any emergency. In business, you are your own back-up. How will you manage your business if you fall and break your leg?