With hurricane season underway, the LSBDC has taken extra steps to help small businesses prepare and understand the impact a disaster could have on their business.
The LSBDC has identified 10 key questions, Could You Survive a Disaster?, to help business owners think about issues in the disaster recovery planning process. This guide, which can be used as a starting point when developing a business continuity plan, covers key areas such as data protection, communication and people.
According to a recent survey conducted by FedEx Corp. and the American Red Cross, more than half of small businesses have not taken action to prepare for disasters that are prone to happen in their areas. “With as many as 40 percent of businesses never reopening following a disaster, it’s imperative that business owners take the necessary precautions to protect their investment,” said Barry Parker, LSBDC Business Continuity Director. “By completing the 10 questions, small businesses will be better prepared for business recovery efforts when emergencies arise.”
The LSBDC also assists with more comprehensive business continuity or emergency response plans. The network offers a full spectrum of risk management and business continuity planning services, Parker said. Consultants will work one-on-one, often at the place of business, to conduct an assessment and build a risk profile to help identify the risks to which their business is most susceptible and strategies to mitigate them.
Research indicates that most small businesses chose not to prepare for disaster due to lack of resources, expertise, and time. According to Parker, taking a few simple steps can greatly minimize the impact of a disaster. “Know where your critical and key documents are, make duplicate copies and move outside of the hurricane strike areas.” He also suggests, “Have necessity items on hand [food, water, batteries, etc.], and make sure you have current telephone numbers for all employees and key vendors. A more detailed list [Ready Kit] is available on our website.”
In 2011, the LSBDC served 12,000 small businesses – creating 1,238 new jobs, 186 new businesses, $127 million in capital, and $48 million in new sales.
About Louisiana Small Business
Designated and funded as the state’s principal provider of small business assistance by Louisiana Economic Development, the Louisiana Small Business Development Center is the only statewide, nationally accredited program that provides business consulting to entrepreneurs at no cost. Through a network of 10 centers, the LSBDC provides high quality one-on-one consulting, training and information resources to empower new and existing businesses.
For more information about LSBDC, please visit www.lsbdc.org.
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