Small Business Is Hard Enough: The Challenges of a Small Business After a Disaster

Disasters, I know we all hate that word. As humans we gird ourselves and simply say, “It won’t happen to me”. But the data shows that it’s not if it’s going to happen, it’s when is it going to happen.

According to the Small Business Administration (SBA), 40% to 60% of small businesses fail following a major disaster. The number of presidentially declared disasters has more than doubled in recent years. However, many disasters don’t affect a large number of people like these declared events do. In fact, fire is the leading business disaster.

If that is not bad enough, researchers estimate that approximately: half of business do not survive their first 5 years and 8 out of 10 fail within the first 3 years after a disaster.*

Small Businesses have unique challenges that are quite different from their larger counterpart. Since 52 % of businesses are operated from the owner’s home or property their ability to recover is harder simply because they have to focus to two recovery efforts. There is never enough time to get them both done quickly and easily. If their business is in their home, there is no place for the work to continue. The property damage for a small business owner impacts BOTH the family and their business.

While owning a small business may seem like the American Dream, owning a small business has many challenges. But after a disaster the challenges become more profound. There seems to be recurring views of these owners both before and after the disaster.

Here are 7 challenges Small Business Owners face after a disaster:

1. Illusion of Security

2. Nothing could be done to protect against this

3. Complete 360-degree disaster for the individual

4. Self-imposed limits

5. Imprudent use of financial resources

6. Not understanding what is happening to their customer base

7. Assumption everything will get back to normal

Starting a business is a big achievement for many entrepreneurs, but maintaining one is the larger challenge. There are many standard challenges that face every business whether they are large or small. The largest challenge for small business owner is planning.

Small business owners invest a tremendous amount of time, money and resources to make their ventures successful, yet, many owners fail to properly plan and prepare for disaster situations. You can protect your business by identifying the risks associated with natural and man-made disasters, and by creating a plan for action should a disaster strike. By keeping those plans updated, you can help ensure the survival of your business.

When disaster strikes, having a plan and being able to put it into immediate action can mean the difference between staying open to service the needs of your customers and community or shutting down for a few days.

I know, not another plan! Who has time for that?

Resilience is different from preparedness. Where preparedness is something that you do; resilience is something that you become. In becoming more resilient, you as the owner should take intentional action. Do one thing today. (Just one thing). Do you back up your data? No, then get that done. Do you have an emergency contact list for your employees, suppliers, major clients? No, then get that done. Do you review you insurance policy every year with your agent? No, then get that done. Little by little, doing one thing moves you closer.

You’ve finally achieved your dream. Don’t lose it to a power outage, hacker disruption, fire, earthquake or other disaster. If you’re not prepared, a disaster could put you and your employees at risk, possibly shutting down your business forever.

Finding the Time to Work on Your EBook Publishing Business After a Long Day at Work

There’s nothing harder than having to work after work. That sounds like an odd way of phrasing this, but it’s the best I can do. Imagine yourself coming home from a long day at your traditional job only to have to somehow find the time to work on your eBook publishing business. If you think this is a challenging situation, then you’d be right. But there are some really clever ways you can hold down your day job and still have the time and energy to work on your business in the evening.

It’s important to start by really looking at your schedule. You need to be somewhat realistic with yourself and understand that it’s not really practical to come home and to them immediately start working on your eBook business. You need to have some time to relax, have something to eat, maybe even go for a short walk. You might be reading this and thinking to yourself that only a weakling would need to rest and recuperate. Trust me, if you go straight from your day job to working on your business it won’t be long before you’re completely burned out and unable to really make much progress.

Can you realistically find the time to work on your eBook business after a long day at work? Yes, but you’re going to have to really be fair and honest about the amount of time you have to work with. I’d suggest starting out with no more than 45 minutes being devoted to your business per weekday. See how that works out, and you can expand the amount of time you spend working on your business from there.

Business After Retirement – 5 Simple Tips to Start

Retirement is supposed to be the time in our lives when we are able to sit back, relax and reap the freedom of the golden years. What most people realize when they finally get there is that too much relaxation and freedom becomes boring. They start to realize that: they need to keep working to break the boredom, money should be coming in instead of going out, the cost of living is climbing outrageously, and they need enough money to have the financial freedom to travel to places they’ve always dreamed to be. Those are the few realizations aside from missing that feeling of accomplishment when they were still working. And that’s when business after retirement seriously comes to mind.

You need to plan ahead and build a good foundation if you are going to start a business after retirement. Here are the few tips that you might need to consider:

1. Assess yourself – are you a risk taker? Can you risk your retirement benefit? Because no matter how you look at it, starting a business involves monetary risk. Accepting that fact, you must also check if you have the ability and the will to work hard to be able to handle uncertainty. Most of all you must have the attitude of self discipline.

2. Pick the right business for you – if you are the kind of person who is driven by passion and wants to make a career out of it, chances are that you will attain success. The reason why increasing number of older Americans starts a business after retirement is know-how. After 50, you have gained the skills and experience that you are passionate about. That would really make a difference. For some people, owning their own business is fascinating. In this case, chose a business that has a demand and potential in times of growth and recession.

3. Come up with a solid business plan – As a retiree, you have a special advantage. You’ve probably had a career where you learned how to run a successful business, either through hands-on experience or through observation of how the business where you worked was run. Figure out what will make your product or service different or special, how you plan to attract customers and how you intend to beat the competition.

4. Find Great People – In a small business, the impact of a single team member can be enormous. Every person you add to your team must have a star quality – which means that the person must reflect your ideas and goals and will work with you through it. Is that possible? Absolutely. First, make sure you define what a star is within each role in your company. Then you can go find them.

5. Market and Sell – this is about getting the world to know about your business so customers come through your door or perhaps to your homepage. First, you’ll need to know and study your target market. Then develop or create a marketing message that will reach them. Make sure you maintain that message consistently and must be reinforced repeatedly so you can build your own brand or identity. Consistency gives the people a clear reason to be interested in your business.

When you are younger, you can afford to make a mistake, go out of business, even file for bankruptcy and still rebound. When you are older, there is simply less time to bounce back from significant business problems. Still, the wisdom of the years never fails.