Emergency Planning for the Embroidery Business
A natural disaster can be devastating to an embroidery business. Preparation is the key to rebounding quickly from a hurricane, tornado or other event.
Five tips for emergency preparedness, to avoid being caught off-guard when disaster strikes.
There are few things worse than being caught off-guard by a natural disaster, but they don’t necessarily mean the end of your embroidery business.
It doesn’t suffering through devastating tornados in Oklahoma or the onset of hurricane season in the southeastern U.S., for an embroidery business owner to realize they need a plan in case of a disaster.
The best way to bounce back from business disaster quickly is through planning. Preparation is the most effective strategy to build trust with both clients and employees, allowing your business to continue without too much interruption.
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Five tips for developing preparedness programs to save all your hard work and effort:
Have a dedicated response system
Property damage is unhealthy for a business, but it is nothing compared to personal injury of loss of life. You can always get another SWF Multi-Head Embroidery Machine, or single head embroidery machine, but you only have one life to give.
For business owners, personal safety should always be the primary concern.
To protect both employees and customers, establish a strategy to manage your response in the face of an emergency. For example, everyone in your shop should know the proper evacuation routes for the area. Emergency numbers should also be available.
Review your insurance coverage
The time to review business insurance coverage is before something happens! Make sure there is enough replacement cost coverage for single head embroidery machine, direct-to-garment printer and other resources. Some damage might set you back for an only a short while, but you might not survive a complete loss without the right amount of insurance.
It pays to save—electronic data, that is
While much of the embroidery business is physical material, a majority of today’s information and records are saved electronically. Back up all files critical files, including designs, images, payroll and tax info, in at least in two separate locations. With affordable online storage in the “cloud,” your company has more options than ever to keep your data safe offsite.
Have a buddy system
What if a storm puts you out of commission? How will you complete your customer orders until you are up and running again? Establish a relationship with a few trusted competitors, to be your backup supplier in case of disaster. Having a “go to” embroidery business could mean the difference between huge delays (and even more lost profits) and keeping your clients happy and on your side.
In the event of a natural disaster, often people in similar industries will set differences aside, and come together to help each one another.
Manage your assets
In case of disaster, it is imperative to maintain cash flow. Having cash on hand is important, in addition to corporate credit cards, to ensure you can pay for any emergency expenses. Checking your online accounts is also essential, especially during hurricane season, which is from June to November in the Southeastern U.S. Although hurricanes can be every bit as damaging as tornados and fires, at least with hurricanes, you have some warning. A business owner should use the opportunity to organize before one arrives.
In addition to these five tips, there are other resources for small business owners who want to learn more about making a disaster relief plan. The U.S. Small Business Administration and FEMA websites contain information to help embroidery, direct-to-garment printers and other small business prepare for possible catastrophe.
Do you have your own tips to prepare for a natural disaster? Let us know in the comments below!
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