Building a Resilient Business: Crisis Preparedness Tips for Small Businesses
With the unpredictability we all face today, small businesses especially, face a myriad of challenges that can disrupt operations and greatly impact their future. Whether it's a global pandemic like COVID-19, a natural disaster, or economic uncertainties, being prepared for crises is crucial to the survival and long-term success of small businesses. We put together a few essential tips to help small business owners prepare for any crisis and build resilience.
1. Develop a Robust Business Continuity Plan
A well-thought-out business continuity plan is the foundation when it comes to crisis preparedness. Outline how your business will continue operating during and after a crisis, identify critical functions, implement backup systems, and establish clear communication channels and ensure your team understands the plan, too.
2. Cross-Train Your Team
Your employees are extremely valuable assets. Cross-train them to perform multiple roles within your business, if you can. The flexibility of someone being able to step into various positions within your business can be a lifesaver during staff shortages, illnesses, or other emergencies.
LOCAL TIP: The West Linn and Lake Oswego Chambers of Commerce often host various educational workshops and training sessions that can help you develop (or improve upon) cross-training programs for your team.
3. Ensure You Have Solid Insurance Coverage
Insurance is your safety net! Regularly review your insurance policies to ensure they cover all potential risks your business may face. You may also consider business interruption insurance, which can provide financial assistance during periods of disrupted operations.
4. Build a Strong Online Presence
The digital landscape has become more important than ever for most businesses, but especially small businesses. Establish a robust online presence, including a professional website and active social media accounts on platforms like Instagram and Facebook. The engagement, capabilities, and connection you will discover on eCommerce platforms will help you continue selling products or services even if your physical storefronts are closed.
5. Stay Informed and Network
Being part of a supportive local community can provide crucial resources during a crisis. Attend local business events, join industry associations, and network with other small business owners near you. These kinds of networks and groups can help you stay informed about regional developments and potential risks specific to your area, too.
LOCAL TIP: Both West Linn and Lake Oswego Chambers of Commerce regularly organize networking events and provide access to valuable local business networks. Sign up to Wander Willamette’s monthly newsletter to keep tabs on these opportunities!
By following these tips and leveraging the resources available to you through your local community and network, you can prepare your business to weather just about any storm. Crisis preparedness isn't just about surviving; it's about thriving in the face of adversity and emerging stronger on the other side! Explore Wander Willamette for more information and follow us on Instagram and Facebook to stay informed about upcoming networking, educational, and virtual events.
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