Coping With Emergencies The Survival of Your Small Business

You have started a small business and are experiencing success with
it beyond your wildest dreams. You are doing what you love and enjoying
being your own boss and setting your own schedule. Then, the unthinkable
happens – you or a family member are in an awful car wreck with
injuries that require a hospital stay and lengthy recovery time,
perhaps, or maybe one of your children gets ill and you find yourself
going to multiple doctors’ visits. The small business owner, often, is
the only one running the show, and when he or she finds himself suddenly
out of commission, it can call the very survival of that business into

It is absolutely critical that every small business
owner make contingency plans for just such an occasion. It would also
behoove them to prepare plans to put in place in case of a natural
disaster or local emergency that would affect their place of business or
their manner of doing business. Plan for the worst, while hoping and
praying that the plan never needs to be put into action. If the need
never arises, great! If against all odds, you find it necessary to
implement it, then at least you are prepared, as best you knew how, to
meet the disaster head-on and give your business a fighting chance to

In anticipation of your being unable to fulfill your
normal duties in relation to your small business, train any employees
that you may have in all aspects of the business. Pick out the most
reliable and responsible of the group and train them to be your
assistant manager. If you do not have any employees, then consider who
among your family members or friends might be willing for you to train
them to take over your small business for a time, if it were to become
necessary. Train them initially and then keep them up-to-date
periodically with any new information they would need to help them run
your business. You might even consider taking them on as a part-time
employee. Make sure that they are aware of any small business help or
small business resources that would be available to them in your

Brainstorm ways to continue doing business in the event
of a natural disaster or local emergency. This will depend, of course,
on the nature of your business, but explore all of the alternatives that
might be available to you during a potential problem. Make any
necessary purchases for things to have on-hand such as a generator to
keep your electricity going in case of a power outage.

other things that could cause a disruption to your normal business
proceedings. Be sure to keep all equipment properly maintained to avoid
them breaking down and causing you to lose valuable time and ultimately
costing you money. Provide adequate safety training to staff to avoid

Make your plans and then periodically review and
update them if necessary. Do not, however, allow yourself to dwell on
them overmuch or worry them to death.