As climate change continues to affect weather patterns at increasing rates, more communities find themselves amidst destructive natural disasters. Unfortunately, once lightning strikes, getting back to business can be challenging.
However, business owners can take several steps to build their companies back up after a stormy disaster.
Explore your financial options
Businesses often need an injection of working cash to get back on their feet after a disaster. Thankfully, small business owners can turn to alternative loans like a merchant cash advance.
These helpful short-term loans enable businesses to make repairs, replace inventory, and pay their employees during recovery phases.
Connect with your employees
If a natural disaster hits your community, your employees might be affected personally. Take time to reach out about their safety and shelter status, checking on their physical and mental wellbeing. By showing them you care, they are more likely to help nurse your business back to health.
Additionally, some employees may need additional time to recover. It’s helpful for you to know if they need time off or are available and ready to get back to work.
Speak with your insurance company
Your insurance company should be available to help you with damage to your business caused by a natural disaster. So, call your agent or connect with the claims department to get the ball rolling and prepare your business for reopening after the storm.
When speaking with your agent, it may be the perfect time to reevaluate your insurance needs so you can stay prepared during future strikes.
Don’t forget about FEMA and the SBA
Insurance companies don’t always pay as much as business owners expect. Fortunately, the federal government has options for additional help through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Small Business Administration (SBA).
If your business insurance only covers a small portion, consider applying for assistance through government-run programs.
Stay flexible with your reopening plans
Natural disasters in your community might affect the speed of your business’s reopening, so it’s vital to stay flexible to manage disappointment from delays and setbacks. Unfortunately, you may have to wait for road and utility repairs, employee health concerns, and other issues before you fully reopen. So take a breath and remain patient as you build your business back up.
Consider remote opportunities
After natural disasters, remote work might be the solution for the short term. Connect with your employees to discuss the possibility of remote work, and embrace the transition until you get back on your feet.
Talk to your vendors and lenders
If you’re unable to open after months of reconstruction, you might need to ask for patience from your lenders and vendors. Reducing overhead costs may give you room to reopen when life returns to normal. Talk to your landlord, utility companies, and vendors to discuss immediate changes they can make to help you recover from the disaster.
Unfortunately, natural disasters can force businesses to close without the proper precautions. However, with planning and communication, business owners can take steps to stay open and continue to employ their loyal employees— even during the eye of the storm.
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