A Small Business Owner’s Guide To Coping With the Sudden and Unexpected

As the owner of a small business, you know that no matter how well you plan out your month, something unexpected and potentially disastrous could always pop up. Whether you’re afraid of running into financial problems, experiencing lagging business, getting hit by a natural disaster or something else, it’s important to take steps to shield yourself and your business from sudden and potentially harmful situations. Although preparation can’t prevent the unexpected, putting these strategies in place can help you cope more successfully and rebound more effectively.

Always Keep a Cash Cushion and Emergency Business Fund

Without enough cash, your company may struggle to make it through a sudden crisis. That’s why it’s always helpful to keep a cash cushion in the bank and have an emergency fund specifically set aside for unexpected situations. In most cases, you’ll want to put aside enough to cover a few months’ worth of business expenses. You may also find it helpful to purchase various insurance packages that can help provide you with a financial cushion in times of emergency.

Have a Crisis Communications Plan in Place

When a crisis hits, you don’t have time to come up with a plan from scratch to keep operations going while dealing with the problem at hand. For that reason, it’s important to lay out a number of potential scenarios and come up with your plan for handling each one as early as possible. For example, if your phone lines go out because of a natural disaster, consider how you’ll keep in touch with employees and customers and whether the business model will need to be temporarily adjusted.

Keep Organized Records So You Can Quickly Pinpoint What Went Wrong

Once an emergency has passed, it’s important to conduct a thorough survey of what happened and whether you could change any of your preventative strategies to avoid a similar situation in the future. To help this effort, make sure you keep thorough and highly organized records of all business proceedings. Especially in cases of financial emergency, having good records can help you pinpoint problems and find solutions more easily.

Dealing with unexpected, sudden and even harmful events as a small business owner can be stressful and put a lot of pressure on the company. However, you can help prepare yourself to bounce back from unexpected situations by putting these preventative and preparatory strategies in place. Make sure to have a strong emergency fund at all times, decide on an emergency communications plan early and keep your records as thorough and organized as possible in order to avoid last-minute crises.

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