I’ve lived in Florida my entire life, which means I’ve lived through several hurricanes. The first one I remember was Hurricane Andrew back in 1992 (heck of a first hurricane, right?) and there have been several more since. Just last week Hurricane Matthew brushed the coast of South Florida and I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to work.
In the past, when a hurricane would hit I’d get excited because it meant no school or work. Now that I run my own business, I get nervous because I don’t have a regular paycheck every two weeks. Not being able to work equals no money.
Fortunately, I’ve taken steps in the last couple of years in an effort to prepare my freelance business for when a natural disaster strikes. Here are some of the things you can do to make sure your business isn’t just ready for a natural disaster, but for any emergency that may come up.
In the last couple of years, I’ve gone completely paperless. Not only that, but I have everything from tax returns to client contracts saved on secure cloud systems.
It may seem like a no-brainer to do this, but lots of businesses are still operating with a lot of paper clutter. If a natural disaster strikes, you run the risk of losing important in documentation you never got around to scanning.
Create multiple streams of income (especially passive ones).
When Hurricane Matthew wreaked havoc in the U.S. last week, I was expecting to potentially not have power for days. Fortunately, the storm went further east than anticipated so my area came out of this relatively unscathed, but the possibility of losing power was still there. In fact, it’s been flickering on and off for days as the electric company works to restore power to areas that lost it.
The reason I wasn’t completely freaking out this time around is because I’ve been working diligently the last few months to add passive streams of income into my business via affiliate sales and product sales on my blog. This is money I make without having to physically work.
You may be wondering how on earth a freelancer can create passive streams of income in case of a natural disaster, and I’ve got an example for you. Let’s say you’re a freelance web designer. In that case, you can create done-for-you ready to install WordPress templates and sell them on your website.
Stock up on your savings.
If a natural disaster ever strikes your area, you’re likely going to experience a lean month in your business. This is especially true if you’re not at the point yet of having built multiple streams of income into your business.
That’s why it’s important to always make sure you are saving money for emergencies. This could literally make all the difference between paying your bills or not (Because your credit card company doesn’t care if you got hit by a hurricane, they want that bill paid.)
Build in support.
My VA lives in New Jersey, which means emails and administrative tasks were still being handled even if I could not physically work. Building in this kind of support is a must for when you need to step away from your business.
Natural disasters and other kinds of emergencies happen. Make sure your freelance business is prepared for it by following these steps.