Articles Tagged ‘Small business inventory’

DEALING WITH DISASTER – KEEPING YOUR BUSINESS AFLOAT

Thursday, February 9th, 2012

Catastrophes happen on a daily basis, and all companies must have a plan in place to stay in business. You might be a new company, with just a few months under your belt, and having invested your life savings to pursue your entrepreneurial dream. Or possibly you are a well-established, extremely successful business owner. Either of these scenarios – and all those in between – could be at risk of survival if your business is destroyed. Often the destruction happens in seconds. A fire, earthquake, tornado or other disaster can and does happen.

Are you prepared? A business continuity plan is essential. The Houston Area Research Center cites these statistics in support of the investment of time and money into creating a plan:

35–40% of businesses without a continuity plan never reopen when disrupted by a disaster.
Every dollar spent on disaster preparedness saves $7 in recovering disaster related economic losses.

Your ability to reopen quickly is imperative. The sooner you are back in business, the less you’ll suffer from lost revenues. Customers will be retained because they are aware you’re down time will be minimal. And, extremely important, is how this will impact your employees. As a business owner, you’ll want to get them all back to work so they don’t experience a financial hardship for their families.

When creating your business continuity plan, there are many questions to ask and then answer. Here are my top 10:

1. What disasters could we face (natural and man-made)?
2. What operations are critical to open quickly?
3. Do we have a data backup in place to be able to access our records from any location?
4. Who are our key resources (utilities, insurance agent, CPA, etc.)?
5. Who are our key suppliers and do they have a business continuity plan?
6. Do we have a relationship established to ensure we will be one of the first served if we experience a wide-spread disaster (tornado or flood vs. one-building fire)?
7. Where can we set up a temporary location, and who will direct the process?
8. What supplies, inventory and equipment will be needed immediately?
9. Is our employee call chain up to date, and does each employee know what their role is in our disaster plan?
10. Do we have an inventory of all of our assets so we can complete an insurance claim quickly and thoroughly, and maximize the claim for proper financial recovery?

Though this is just the tip of the iceberg in business continuity planning, it is a good start to begin the necessary steps for preparedness. Without a plan, the odds are far greater that you will not re-open if you’re forced to close.

Cindy Hartman
Hartman Inventory, LLC
317-501-6818
cindy@hartmaninventory.com

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Have Or Have Not

Tuesday, November 15th, 2011

One of our customers was burglarized a few years ago had no record of the contents of his home. It took him months to fill out his insurance claim. Since he owned a lot of tools, he was asked to list the manufacturer and model numbers of each. To this day, he continues to think of items he didn’t remember at the time. This usually happens when he searches for a tool that was used infrequently or for a seasonal item. Since some weren’t items he used daily, it wasn’t apparent that they were missing.

He is also a business owner (actually, he owns two), and said the stress was extremely high while he tried to run both companies and deal with the aftermath of the burglary. The time it took to complete the insurance claim was excessive. This task completely consumed his time, resulting in him neglecting his businesses for hours a day for months! Because of that experience, he now has a personal property inventory of his home and his businesses.

A few months after his inventory was completed, his home was burglarized again. This time, though, he said it was quite a different experience. He just looked through the written report and photos, saying to himself, “This is gone … this is gone … this is gone.” He told us that it was quite easy to list each item that was gone – and he didn’t forget rarely-used tools! The written report included the model numbers and serial numbers of electronics and tools. It was easy to list the items that were stolen. This ensured that he would receive the full value because he could prove what he paid for them. He completed his claim within a couple of hours, and didn’t have to keep thinking about what he might have forgotten. He had the photos to help him remember. What a difference between the two experiences!

Seeing the benefit of having a document that itemizes your belongings takes away the question of whether to “have or have not” an inventory.

Cindy Hartman
Hartman Inventory, LLC
317-501-6818
cindy@hartmaninventory.com

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What Are You Doing To Prepare?

Wednesday, October 5th, 2011


National Preparedness Month (each September), was established by Ready.gov and FEMA to help businesses and families prepare for a disaster. The information we provided these past weeks on this blog and on the Hartman Inventory Systems News Page was was offered to all Coalition Members to share with our readers.

We are pleased to have participated once again this year. We hope this campaign has encouraged you to prepare for a disaster! It is imperative to know what to do when a disaster happens; being prepared can save lives.

To close out the month, we are offering this opportunity for you to quiz yourself to see just how prepared you are. If you don’t know the answer to some of the questions, visit Ready.gov or your local Office of Emergency Management for tips and resources that can help make sure you, your family, and your community are Ready.

Does your local government have an emergency or disaster plan for your community? If so, do you know what it is?

Do you know how to find the emergency broadcasting channel on the radio?

Does your city/county have an emergency alert system? If so, are you signed up to get alerts?

Do you know your local evacuation routes? How would you get out of town from work? How about from home?

Does your city/county have a Citizen Corps Council? (If you don’t know, visit www.citizencorps.com)

In the last year, have you prepared or updated your Emergency Supply Kit with emergency supplies like water, food and medicine that is kept in a designated place in your home? Visit Ready.gov for an Emergency Supply Kit checklist.

In the last year, have you prepared a small kit with emergency supplies that you keep at home, in your car or where you work to take with you if you had to leave quickly?

In the last year, have you made a specific plan for how you and your family would communicate in an emergency situation if you were separated?

Are you prepared to help your neighbor? In most emergencies, the best way to get help quickly is by working with your neighbors. Do you know anyone in your neighborhood who might need a little extra help preparing for or responding to an emergency?

Have you established a specific meeting place for your family to reunite in the event you and your family cannot return home or are evacuated?

In the last year, have you practiced or drilled on what to do in an emergency at home?

In the last year, have you volunteered to help prepare for or respond to a major emergency?

Have you taken first aid training such as CPR in the past five years?

Do you have an inventory of your home or business belongings so you are prepared to provide a thorough insurance claim after a loss?

Cindy Hartman
Hartman Inventory, LLC
317-501-6818
cindy@hartmaninventory.com

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