Five tips to help your business survive a crisis

Steve Denham gives five areas of action to make sure your business survives if you suffer a personal crisis

I was recently involved in a road traffic accident that resulted in me being taken to Worthing Hospital’s A&E department. My car, as you can see, was a write off.

While waiting to go through the process of assessment and treatment I had time to think about the impact a serious accident would have had on me and my family when I was running my store.

Here are five things you need to do to make sure that yours survives if you suffer a personal crisis:

1. Wills and lasting power of attorney
We all expect to have along and enjoyable life, but being prepared for the worst will mean that your family will have your wishes for how your business will carry on. Review your will every five years to ensure it remains relevant and set up lasting power of attorney to cover both financial and health.

2. Lease and contracts
The most vulnerable type of business to the effects of a personal crisis is a sole trader. All the contracts and property lease will be in the owner’s name. It is important to ensure that your lease has provisions for your spouse or partner to be able to easily continue to benefit from its terms. It is also important to keep a file of your supplier contracts and this will assist the continuity of your business. 

3. Bank accounts
Cash is the lifeblood of any business. If your spouse or partner is not included in the relationship you have with your bank they could find it difficult to access the accounts in a crisis even with a lasting power of attorney.

4. Store technology and websites
Store systems and websites all need passwords and usernames to gain access to. While it is important to maintain security of your systems on a day-to-day basis, it is equally important to ensure that your spouse or partner can gain control when needed. 

5. Your network
One of the great strengths of independent convenience community is that the people who work in it are incredibly supportive and caring when things go wrong. A way to make disaster recovery much easier is to include your spouse or partner in your own wider business network. 

Getting your affairs in order before a crisis will save many challenges later.

Read: How to learn from business mistakes


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