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Consider these scenarios: a fire destroys your business property; a broken water pipe causes extensive water damage to your office; a thief vandalizes your practice and steals your equipment. While property insurance covers the cost of replacing your building, equipment, or materials in these unforeseen circumstances, how do you maintain your practice in the meantime? Business Interruption Insurance helps you get your office up and running again, in the shortest time possible and is part of a comprehensive insurance strategy to safeguard your practice when disaster strikes.
Regardless of the cause, how you address business interruptions says a lot about your company and your chance of having a future. When things seem bleak, here are some business interruption best practices that can help:
- Respond quickly: While you might be tempted to keep the situation quiet, waiting to contact other involved parties rarely leads to anything good. In fact, the opposite holds true, and wasted minutes can mean even greater losses. From the power company to police, identifying the issue and involving those that can help as soon as possible is the best option. Stabilizing the issue and expediting repair is crucial.
- Protect your customers: Most businesses that suffer a severe interruption struggle to recover. If you are to ride this out and return to being successful, then it is imperative that your customers be protected. Most customers will tolerate an interruption so long as it doesn’t carry over into losses for their own organization. From data to products to payments, make sure that your customers are not negatively impacted by whatever is happening to your business.
- Communicate: Keeping customers, partners, and vendors in-the-know with what is going on is key to surviving a business interruption. Customers need to be protected, but they also want to know what’s happening. Furthermore, clear communication can often bring in unknown resources to help solve your dilemma.
- Protect your employees: Business interruptions are stressful, not just for management, but employees, as well. Is the company able to recover from, for example, a hurricane hitting headquarters? Is the company able to continue if the warehouse burns down accidentally? Severe business interruptions greatly affect your business, which means it affects the people in your business. Reassure your team by keeping the lines of communication open regarding what is happening and how the event is directly impacting their future, as well.
- Document the event: Even while working to solve an issue and repair the business interruption, you should document what’s happening. Noting when you discovered the issue, when the issue was revolved, and all points in between will be instructive in protecting your business from this type of incident happening again. Record who you called for assistance and how quickly they responded, as well as the key points of any customer messaging and feedback.
- Not just stable, but stronger: Any vulnerabilities or weaknesses you find should be addressed proactively now instead of remaining as a lingering issue. After you have triaged the interruption and gotten your business operations underway again, revisit your risk mitigation strategy and make sure that you build in protections and strategies so this type of event is less likely to happen again and less costly if it does.
Making the best of a bad situation is never easy, particularly when that bad situation has had a negative effect on your business. But business interruptions do present opportunities to improve your business and make it all the more resistant to challenges in the future. Work to protect your organization and clients and repair the interruption quickly. Then, make sure you keep a good accounting of the event and work to prevent it from happening again.
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