Article by Jane Tweedy, Business Advisor, Western Sydney Business Centre
The floods that hit South East Queensland and the NSW border caused immense damage to property and business in the area. Business Connect sent three of our advisors to the region to help in the recovery centres and they had some interesting findings.
Many small businesses had no insurance at all, some due to high risk and prohibitive premiums (over $50k). However some unknowingly had access to other affordable insurances. Insurance does not have to be all or nothing, so consider what you can insure. Get advice and quotes from three different brokers. Each will have their own views and expertise, and access to a limited panel of insurers.
If your phone, email, premises or website goes down, can you keep trading – for a day, week or month? Many businesses for weeks after the floods had no property access. Around 20% of businesses may not reopen, but they also didn’t know how to close!
With the current malware issues, this is a risk for ALL businesses daily. Are your important documents stored in multiple locations? To access some disaster grants businesses needed to have utility bills, business name records etc. Can you access your banking remotely without your password cheat sheet hidden in your desk, not a good idea by the way!
Have back-ups onsite, offsite (maybe home and office, or even an accountants) and in the cloud. This applies to everything – paper documents, photos, data, templates…
You also have a responsibility to make sure all personal and confidential data is safely maintained and protected from theft and fraud.
You can hire people, or conduct your own risk assessments. For each potential risk on a scale of high, medium and low, assess the likelihood and impact of that risk occurring. This creates a matrix. If a risk has high likelihood and high impact, make sure to reduce or mitigate that risk through procedures (like backing up), insurance or other action.
Disasters can occur at any time. Prepare ahead, and your future will be more secure.