Hi, my name’s Scott Hamilton. I work for CenturyLink Business.
So, after a disaster the first thing you need to do is contact all of your employees. You have to ensure that they and their families are safe because if they’re not safe and sound they really can’t be any help to your business.
Part of their safety and security is your business, it’s their job, and so you also have to assure them that they will have a job. Even though you might not have a plan exactly of how you’re going to get back into business, you need them to be with you and support you to get back into business.
The second thing to do after a disaster is to contact your insurance agent and your banker. In fact, your insurance agent may contact you before you even have a chance to reach out to them.
Your banker is very important and will be a very important part of getting back into business, too, right? You may need bridge loans, you may need loans for inventory, so making that call is pretty important.
The third thing you need to do after a disaster is to reach out to your customers.
Now, hopefully you have a database of phone numbers and email addresses and you can contact them directly. Tell them what your plan is – you may not be able to serve them today, but when you expect to be able to serve them and ask them for their support.
If you don’t have a database of phone numbers and email addresses for your customers, try social media. So, post things on Facebook, Twitter, and ask your friends to forward them to cast the net as wide as you can.
The fourth step after a disaster is vendors.
You may have to replace inventory, you may have cash flow problems that will cause you not to be able to pay your vendors right away. So, you need to communicate with them, let them know what your plan is, and again, ask them for their support in helping you get your business back on its feet.
Most good vendors will work with you to try to make sure that they keep a customer and will want to help you get back into business.