Post-Natural Disaster Tips: How to Rebuild –

It’s every business owner’s worst nightmare: A natural disaster strikes your town and damages your business. Even the slightest damage to your property can disrupt business and significantly impact your livelihood. Chances are that really wasn’t covered in your business degree at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Everest University, Columbia College, Argosy University, Northeastern University, Florida Tech University, or any other school. Business owners across New York and New Jersey are currently trying to recover from the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy. It’s a financial, emotional, and physical struggle to get back to business after a natural disaster, and an even bigger challenge succeeding on your return. But it can be done. Here are five tips for rebuilding a business after a natural disaster:

  1. Apply for a disaster loan:

    In order to rebuild your business after a natural disaster, you may have to borrow money to get back on your feet. The U.S. Small Business Administration offers disaster loans to small business hurt by a natural disaster. Businesses can borrow up to $2 million to cover physical damage, economic injury, and mitigation. Disaster loans are flexible and have reasonable repayment terms.

  2. Reach out to customers:

    As you pick up the pieces of your damaged business, it’s important to reach out to customers and inform them about your return. If you haven’t done so already, create a Facebook page and Twitter account to post updates on your return to business. Keeping loyal customers in the know will help spread the word that and hopefully make your reopening a success.

  3. Assess the damage:

    One of the first plans of action after any natural disaster is to assess the damage to your place of business. It’s crucial that you note any structural, equipment, and property damage. If the overall damage is minimal, consider making temporary repairs so that you can continue conducting business at your facility. If the damage is severe, be sure to secure the facility in the midst of relocation.

  4. Make it better than ever:

    Rebuilding a business is physically, mentally, and financially exhausting. Coming back from a disaster is tough, and there’s no guarantee your business will be successful the second go-round. You may have to take risks and invest more to come back strong. Whether it’s buying new furniture, hanging a new sign, or revamping the menu, consider this a chance to give your business a much-needed makeover.

  5. Clean it up:

    Whether you’re rebuilding your business from the ground up or just making a few fixes, be sure to thoroughly clean up your facility. With the help of professionals and licensed inspectors, you can assess what needs to be cleaned, fixed, or replaced. The safety of people and your property should be of the utmost importance following a natural disaster.