As a small business owner, you know that things don’t always go as planned, and many challenges are outside of your control. It’s important to take steps to prepare yourself and your employees to not only endure but also thrive during and after challenging times – such as a natural disaster.
In this post, we’ll outline five small business continuity tips to help you manage adversity and become more confident in the face of the unexpected.
1. Know that it’s never too late to prepare.
If you’re currently being affected by a crisis, it’s not too late to do something about it. There are many loan options available for small businesses during and after a crisis as well as extensive public and private resources for small businesses in economic recovery. For example, the U.S. Small Business Administration has a disaster assistance center, which not only provides resources for natural disaster loans that applicable for small business, but also consolidates Coronavirus relief information, policies and available loans. On the SBA website, business owners can also find links to local chapters and their resources.
2. Ask for help.
Asking for help as a small business owner may make you feel vulnerable. However, it’s incredible what colleagues, friends, or even strangers on social media will do if you address your challenges and genuinely ask for help.
Reach out to trusted mentors, advisors, and colleagues for advice. If your business is struggling with a slump in sales, post on social media and ask your audience to return to your store. You’ll likely be surprised by how much support you receive when you ask.
3. Provide extra support and encouragement to your staff.
When faced by unforeseen challenges, remember that you’re not alone. Your employees run your company, and during times of uncertainty, it’s important to remind them of your business vision, values, and the reasons why they chose to work for you. At times when morale is low, it’s critical to act as a leader and encourage your employees. Make sure to overcommunicate when times are tough—clearly address the challenges that you are facing and outline actions that your business is taking to maintain small business continuity.
4. Brainstorm positive and strategic ideas.
During difficult times, it may be hard to see the positives. However, small business continuity challenges provide a great opportunity to brainstorm strategic solutions with your team. Take some time to meet with your team and brainstorm ways to make sure your business thrives even in adversity.
5. Share what you’ve learned.
All businesses have unique challenges, especially during times of crisis. During these times, you’ll likely learn a lot quickly. It’s important to record all of your lessons learned, no matter how big or small, so that you can meet any future business challenges with confidence. Record any resources that you hope to have access to moving forward. You can use these records to develop new crisis measures, protecting yourself in the future.
Running a business is hard work but how we address crises along the way defines our leadership and resiliency. Challenges not only remind us to slow down and be grateful but can also provide incredible opportunities to thrive.