Once you get your ducks in a row, running a business can go relatively smoothly. You fall into a rhythm where you can serve your customers continuously and provide your employees with a predictable income.
Just as soon as you get into a groove and you’re confident that you won’t come into the office and experience any surprises, life throws you a curveball, and you discover that there’s no way you can continue operations as usual.
Don’t make the assumption that you’ll always be able to open your doors. There are instances in the lifetime of your business when you may experience an interruption.
Coronavirus and Other Pandemics
Pandemics weren’t at the top of mind as something that could seriously hinder business before 2020. They are definitely top of mind now.
The coronavirus has changed all of our lives. During the height of the pandemic, over two-thirds of Americans dealt with shelter-in-place orders. That means countless businesses have closed down, and many may not be able to reopen.
Think we’re out of the woods? Think again! This isn’t the first time a pandemic has changed daily life. The Spanish flu in 1918 hit America hard. The swine flu and avian flu were almost a thing. Just because we work our way through COVID-19 doesn’t mean we’re completely out of the woods.
Protect your business with business interruption insurance. Not only can it help you through any future pandemics, but it can also help you with some of the other challenges on this list.
Businesses increasingly rely on technology to run. That can be a good thing! There are a lot of things that run more smoothly because of technology. Not to mention, it enables us to connect with clients and customers in new and more meaningful ways.
It can also spell disaster for your business. If your systems crash or become overloaded, you may find yourself closing your doors until you can get the problem fixed.
You also have to consider cybercrimes, especially since it is becoming increasingly common. Protect your business from being the victim of a cyber criminal by encrypting data, training staff in cyber security, and considering cyber security insurance.
A natural disaster doesn’t come along very often, so it is rarely thought about when it comes to daily business operations. However, the truth is that natural disasters aren’t as uncommon as you think. At any given time, there’s likely one area of the country that’s struggling to get back on its feet after experiencing a natural disaster.
Natural disasters that could affect your business in a negative way include:
- Snow and ice
In order to protect your business, you have to consider what kinds of natural disasters you could be faced with. If you live on a flood plain, you will want to consider flood insurance, California businesses will want to secure their offices against earthquakes, and those in Florida will want to have a plan of action in case a hurricane hits.
If you live in certain areas of the country, you have to deal with the possibility of wildfires, but don’t make the mistake of thinking that fire can only come from outside your business. A fire can happen at any time, anywhere inside any business.
It’s important to take fire safety seriously by following OSHA’s guidelines. That includes making sure your building has the proper fire alarms in place, but it also means making sure things like boilers are properly cleaned and electrical cords are plugged in safely.
Natural floods aren’t a risk every business has to deal with, but water can still cause problems for businesses. A leak could force you to close your doors for days, weeks, or even months at a time.
Leaks are always a possibility, and dealing with one can pull you away from your day-to-day operations, but those living in cold climates face an even greater risk. Freezing pipes can burst and flood your business. If it happens overnight, you could arrive at work in the morning to quite an unpleasant surprise.
Not all pipes are at risk of freezing and bursting. With the help of a plumber, locate pipes that could cause potential problems and ensure they are properly insulated in the winter so this disaster doesn’t stop your daily operations in their tracks.
Crime or Vandalism
Criminals are still a serious consideration when it comes to operating a business. They have always been a threat, and they will continue to be a threat as long as companies operate in a public space.
It’s obvious that storefronts should be protected by an alarm system, but offices should be protected too. No matter how small, there is always expensive equipment and information that can easily be stolen if someone gains access to your workplace.
Vandalism can also cause problems. For example, if your windows are broken out in the middle of a protest, you’ll likely have to close down long enough to make the repair.
Supply Chain Disruption
Most of the things on this list that can interrupt your business are fairly dramatic. That’s not the case with a supply chain disruption, but it is no less dangerous.