(NAPSI)—Despite the many risks small businesses face, many remain unprepared to handle the unexpected. One way they can minimize their risks is to create a Business Continuity Plan.
Only 6 percent of small-business owners say they’re not at all confident about being adequately protected against a disaster, according to a survey conducted by Travelers at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce America’s Small Business Summit. That same survey found that 44 percent of small businesses are operating without any type of business continuity plan, a plan designed to keep the business operating after an unexpected event.
That false sense of security and lack of preparation could easily spell disaster for a business. One- quarter of small businesses hit by a major disruption never reopen their doors, according to the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety. Other data suggests that even if businesses did reopen, most wouldn’t fully recover.
A strategic business continuity plan, combined with securing the right insurance coverage, is critical in making sure a business can continue to thrive after a disaster. Policies to consider include a standard multiperil or business owner’s policy and business interruption coverage. Business owners should also talk to their agents about additional options like flood coverage.
Formulating a business continuity plan, depending on the complexity of the business, may only take a few hours and can help ensure a business lasts years after a disaster.
The plan should include everything from important phone numbers of service providers to locations of backup data. For help getting started, business owners can visit www.travelers.com for free tips on developing a plan. These plans can provide the necessary road map to assist in handling a crisis, but they work best when communicated effectively and frequently with employees. Once a business continuity plan is developed, owners should walk employees through different scenarios that can significantly affect a business and explain how to manage the consequences.
Small businesses play a vital role in helping the nation’s economic recovery. Properly protecting a small business through risk management is essential to its long-term survival.