From being able to work from other locations, to ensuring your customers know not to visit your shop, here’s what we recommend you think about.
1. Keep important information off site
We’re sure that you already keep your backups, important documentation and other businesses-critical information off site in case of fire or other emergency.
If you don’t prepare your business for a storm, now would be a good time to do so. If you’re relying on “the cloud” to keep your business running, then what happens if you have no internet access due to a power cut?
Making backups on USB pen drives or portable hard drives is a good idea so that your business is not reliant on you being online. Keeping paper copies as well as information on your cellphone may also be a good idea for your business.
If you can, update your website so that people know that you are / n’t open, and that orders, responses to enquiries or site visits will / won’t be delayed or cancelled for a while.
You may need to contact your website company to do this, or you may be able to do it yourself.
3. Phone lines
If your phone lines are down, you might not be able to get online, but perhaps you still have cellphone coverage.
You might be able to ask your web design company to update your website with your cellphone number, or you might be able to do it yourself. Your telephone company might be able to redirect your business phone line to a cellphone number, so that customers can actually speak to someone as and when they need to.
Perhaps you’ll be able to change your voicemail message too, so that people know that you’re busy helping others, or their order might be late.
4. Can / Can’t Access Premises
Part of the plan to prepare your business for a storm is to decide what to do if you can’t access your premises due to a storm.
Do you have everything you need to continue running your business from home, from your insurance company policy number to staff contact details?
Can you contact your suppliers and let them know not to deliver to you this week? Can you message your team to see where your latest project is up to?
What about rearranging client meetings or responding to changing deadlines?
5. Can staff work from elsewhere?
In order to prepare your business for a storm, you might want to think of alternatives to your normal workplace, such as an alternative branch, shop or office, nearby premises willing to help you, or staff could work from home.
If you run a factory or shop, then perhaps it’s not as easy as just taking a laptop to a coffee shop.
6. Help others
If other nearby companies are affected, is it worth pooling resources and working together to keep your businesses running?
Perhaps you’ve got spare space another company could use, and maybe they’ve got something that you could help you.
7. Suppliers / customers
If you can, you’ll need to keep your suppliers and customers updated with your current situation.
Those expecting to make a delivery will be annoyed if you can’t accept the delivery, and customers will be expecting their order to arrive if you don’t tell them you can’t send out their order.
As you already know, it’s good customer service to keep people informed, which will lead to less supplier and customer frustration.
Your suppliers and customers are much more likely to be sympathetic if you let them know what’s happening.
Remember to make sure that you have important contact numbers saved in several places as this will help prepare your business for a storm.
If you normally make deliveries or go to meet clients, then you’ll need to make sure that you let your customers and clients know that anything arranged might be delayed or cancelled.
Maybe you can arrange alternative dates or meeting places, or your customers are prepared to wait a while because they understand your situation.
9. Fulfilling existing orders / contracts
If you have regular or automated contracts that need fulfilling, then you’ll need to contact the companies involved and let them know that you might not be able to fulfill the order.
If you run a bakery and can’t get back in the kitchen, then you won’t be able to make the bread and cakes you’re contracted to. If you’re supposed to be putting a website live, or fabricating steel parts perhaps you can’t because of the storm. By keeping everyone informed, you’ll hopefully prevent or minimize any penalty clauses.
10. Business continuity plan
Making, updating and testing your business continuation plan will help to ensure that your business can keep running in the event of a serious incident such as a severe storm that means you can’t get into your workplace for several days.
Now you know that preparing your business for a storm is more than having flashlights and some food and water in the workplace, you need to think about keeping your business going too.
We deal with commercial premises and work alongside your insurance company to take care of everything whilst you run your business.
If you need help after a storm, then why not Contact RJI Pro now on 877-ROOF-310, and tell us how we can help you?