by Nigel Hilton

Unfortunately, many businesses close their doors when their first big disaster hits them. Bigger companies can often cope. They’ve got the audience and finances to support them for a while, which gives them options moving forward. They can get by. Newer and smaller businesses, however, don’t. Getting started is tough, making it last is even harder, and that first disaster can be the end.

Disasters come in many shapes and sizes. They can be natural, weather issues, hurricanes, floods and other big natural disasters needing disaster restoration are never good for the businesses affected, and it can be hard to get life back to normal, never mind salvaging what is left of a company. They can also be financial. Starting a new business is often more expensive than people think, the costs can quickly spiral and debts can start to mount. You could face cyber attack, hardware failures or software corruption, which can cause a loss of income, and lead to expensive repair and restoration. Anything that means your business is unable to make money as it should is a disaster that can be hard to recover from. But, whatever you are facing, there are some skilful ways to handle the situation, save your business and even use it to your advantage. Let’s take a look at some of them.

Assess the Situation

Assessment should be the very first thing that you do. Things often aren’t as bad as you think, but they are sometimes worse. Whichever side you fall on, it’s important to know what you are really facing, without just assuming the worst. Honestly assessing the situation can make things clearer. You’ll be able to see what needs to be done quickly, without wasting time.

Prioritize

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Once you’ve assessed and you know what needs to be done, it’s time to prioritize. Write a list of everything that you need to do to help your business. Put them in order of importance. Do anything that you can do quickly straight away, to reduce your jobs, and then tackle priorities like stopping damage and closing accounts.

Don’t Panic

If looking at the damage and your massive to-do list is causing you anxiety and worry, you need to take a step back and change your mindset. Panicking isn’t going to help. You can’t go back in time and stop the disaster from happening. But, you have done your best to stop things and to take control of the situation. Often merely taking control and understanding the situation is enough to make you feel better.

Be Honest with Your Customers

Many businesses are guilty of trying to hide their problems. Bigger companies can get away with this, and often come out of the other side without anyone ever needing to know. When you run a small business, it’s much easier for your customers to spot a change. Let them know what’s happening, explain the situation and keep them updated. Loyal customers will be keen to help and happy to wait for you if they need to.