Business disaster management: Steps to follow
A few simple steps to make sure that a disaster is not the end of the world for a business
“It’s all over now. The crisis has finished and it has left behind a picture of disaster, causing pain and despair to an honest and hardworking business owner. It is difficult to estimate and assess the amount and degree of the damage, since the field is still unclear and it more advisable to wait for recovery to come with time.”
That is the most common approach, when it comes to the challenge of rebuilding a business literally from nothing after a disaster, and can is totally justifiable and understandable.
After all, a business owner is a human being with strengths, weaknesses, and limits. Just thinking that so much money, time, and effort were lost in moments, is definitely an unbearable burden, which may cause a business owner who was afflicted by disaster to bend under pressure and head straight to bankruptcy. However, this is may not be the most recommended solution, since there is still room to make things better.
As a first step towards business disaster management, a business owner should find the courage to overcome the initial shock and try to estimate the extent of the disaster, with a clear mind and with the assistance of the company’s directors and departmental managers, if any. The essential contribution and help from senior members of the company’s staff should be ensured right from the beginning, and it can be expressed in a thorough and precise calculation, i.e. in actual numbers and not abstract estimates, of the size of the damage. In the face of those people, a business owner will be able to find the right allies, on whom he or she can rely during those, undoubtedly, hard times.
Their role, of course, is not limited to assessing the damage. As a matter of fact, their duty is to consider how recovery from disaster can be implemented as another business project assigned to them, which is probably the biggest and most challenging task that they will ever have to deal with. In smooth cooperation with the owner, they have to take the company “out of the woods”.
First of all, it is very important to restore morale among staff. In this way, staff members will be motivated, and the level of cooperation will be improved, thus resulting in doing their best. It is not a secret that the collective effort of a company’s employees is the real driving force behind its success.
Therefore, utilizing that force will serve as the cornerstone, in order for a firm to be able to emerge from the ashes.
Special attention should be paid to persuade creditors and suppliers on credit terms, in order for the latter to offer further extension to any existing and default debts, explaining the situation, and showing the amount of effort made by every member of the company to bring it back to its former healthy and profitable position, like before the disaster. Actually, creditors should be assured that the company is a going concern that can still produce profits at least in the medium to long run.
Finally, in case of a natural disaster, the company’s insurance cover should be used, and the insurance company should be contacted immediately. A loss assessor should perform an official assessment, in order for respective compensation procedures to be initiated. This is of paramount importance, since a disaster always causes cash flow problems, and if there is not enough cash readily available, insurance compensation, if not delayed too long, may prove to be the company’s savior and provide a solid foundation for rebuilding the business after a disaster.
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