In May of last year, we suffered a devastating fire that destroyed our headquarters. We’ve come a long way since then, and are well on our way to a full recovery. We’ve learned some valuable lessons along the way, which we have shared in our “Lessons Learned” blog series.
We’ve learned so much throughout the past 10 months — click here to read the other installments of “Lessons Learned”.
Below, we’ve put together a recap of all of the lessons and tips we feel are worth another mention:
In Part 1 we talked about preparing your business for disaster. The key is to expect the unexpected, and to implement systems now to help you recover quickly in the event that something does happen.
Backing up your data is an essential part of this process. Make sure that your contacts and important documents are backed up in a secure, off-site location. We were very lucky that CFS owner Joe Glavin had done a run-through of our disaster recovery system about a month before the fire to ensure that everything was in working order.
You also want to make sure there aren’t huge gaps in your insurance coverage, and line up a temporary space for your business (this is an especially good idea if you have a warehouse or a big office) to make sure you’re fully prepared for anything that comes your way.
Although they may seem drastic, taking these steps now can make the difference between continuing to run your business and having to shut your doors in the event that something catastrophic happens.
In Part 2, we discussed paying attention to details that you normally overlook on a daily basis. It’s a good practice to take an honest account of your business’s assets and potential liabilities as they stand today.
If you’re a contractor, you might consider taking photos of the back of your truck to document all of your equipment and supplies, or installing a video camera in your truck to help you out in the event of a theft.
Making sure that you’re complying with the workers comp laws in your state will also rid you of potential liability should one of your employees or subcontractors get hurt on the job.
These are just a few examples. Every business has its own set of complications. Taking an account of them now and trying to fix them, along with accurately documenting your assets and property, will make things easier should disaster strike. This is all about covering your bases to prevent disaster before it happens and being proactive to minimize potential future damage in the event of a lawsuit, emergency, or disaster.
Part 3 is about making sure that you have several types of business insurance necessary to cover a variety of situations. Even a small gap in your coverage has the potential to prevent you from claiming damages. General liability insurance, professional insurance, workers comp, and what’s known as “tail coverage” if you’re retired are all good options to explore when it comes to making sure your business is covered.
Another common pitfall that contractors tend to suffer from is not ensuring that their work vehicles are covered by a special type of insurance, not just personal auto insurance.
These are all issues that you should try to sort out now, when nothing is wrong — you’ll thank yourself later if something actually happens.
Part 4 discusses recruiting experts to help maximize your insurance recovery, in the event that your business faces a major loss. After something happens to your property or your business, you will most likely be emotional and you could gloss over certain details that would help your claim.
An insurance expert like a public adjuster is a neutral party who will come in and sort out everything objectively. It may seem ridiculous to pay someone else when you’ve just suffered a huge loss and you have yet to receive your insurance payout, but an expert can really make a big difference in your recovery.
Mike Glavin will be speaking at the NWFA Expo in Charlotte, North Carolina, on April 28th on these topics, as well as many others not previously addressed in the Blog series. Those in attendance will receive an advance hard copy of City Floor Supply’s soon to be released e-Guide – 11 Ways to Market Your Hardwood Floor Business on the Internet (click here for the electronic version), a checklist designed to help formulate a disaster recovery plan, and a surprise gift that will allow attendees to implement a disaster plan immediately following the convention.
In the meantime, check out the other installments in our “Lessons Learned” series and benefit from our experience. You can’t be too proactive when it comes to minimizing your potential business liabilities and losses!