How to Plan and Move Your Business to a Temporary Location

business meeting business woman Explain analyze the company's sales plan to team leader and business owner by use computer laptop calculator stock maket chart on wood desk in conferance.A recent study conducted by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, natural disasters used $306 billion in damages worldwide in 2017. These damages often include harm to buildings that harbor businesses like yours. If you’ve been affected, then you’re likely in a situation that requires fast action to find a proper location and get your business back up and running. If you’re attempting to protect your business from a disaster before it strikes, check out our blog, Protect Your Business from Natural Disasters.

Draft an Emergency Procedure

If a natural disaster has struck and your business is incapacitated, then quick action is needed to ensure a smooth transition. Once the workplace is deemed uninhabitable, due to damage to the building or other hazards like gas leaks or sewage issues, the owner should send the staff home for the day. The company should continue to be operational through cloud-based services (like iCloud or Google Drive) and online communications (like Skype or Discord).

Creating the plan should also involve the overall timeframe of the process. This includes assessing damages, speaking with insurance agents and contractors, updating your clients and finding the new location to work. It’s essential to have a step-by-step procedure to follow in times of such uncertainty.

Find your Temporary Location

Cloud services are great in a pinch, but their capabilities can only go so far. If the disaster has caused your building to cease being usable for a timespan of days or even weeks, you need to temporarily set up shop elsewhere. Having a concrete workplace to meet and plan is important in an emergency. So, it’s important to act with urgency when finding a new location. Here are some things to consider when looking:

  1. Local search – when clients look up your place of work you should make sure your new address is what shows up.
  2. Suitability – This new workplace must fully suit your company’s needs (time of stay, space and equipment needed, accessibility for clients, etc.).
  3. Cost – A temporary location shouldn’t be too taxing on your business.
  4. Time span – According to the IRS, temporary work locations are defined by working there for less than a year. Any longer and they will not consider tax deductions on employee commutes.

Assess the Damage and Recover

Once the staff has been sent home and continue to work, it’s time to assess what has been lost and what can be salvaged. A good rule of thumb when assessing is organizing what has been lost and how much it will cost to be replaced. Once properly examined, the usable equipment still needs to be moved to the new location. This includes appliances like printers, computers, or IT equipment that is somewhat tricky to move. To move important IT equipment, one should:

  1. Meet with IT staff – Meet with the staff responsible for the equipment to discuss IT requirements, what equipment will be moved and configure the new office layout.
  2. Consider professional assistance – Extra damage is less likely to occur when being moved by skilled technicians.
  3. Have a backup plan – Saving data to a substitute hard drive, if possible, will prevent lost data during the transfer.

Speak with Contractors and Agents

Contractors will be involved with fixing your workplace (general, electric, plumbing, etc.) depending on the damages assessed. Specific contractors will also aid in the moving and relocation process as professionals may be needed to help extract important equipment.

Insurance agents will handle the financial and liability side to the situation. Employers are required to do several things after a disaster to the workplace. This includes but does not pertain to medical insurance, continued pay and temporary housing.

Protecting Your Income with Business Interruption Insurance

It’s important to remember that you can get insurance coverage to help you cover your losses during a closure. If your business location is damaged during a disaster like hailing, flooding, tornados, vandalism, or equipment damage, then you’ll likely be suffering from a loss of income. Business interruption insurance covers this loss and more specifically, the profits, new temporary location, and extra expenses (i.e., payments like rent and electricity). If something like this occurred, a TJ Woods agent would examine your company’s revenue and expenses to be able to give you full compensation for the damages.

Updating Clients and Employees on the New Location

It’s imperative to update your information which includes local search. A system should be implemented that notifies clients and employees of the following:

  • Reason for transition
  • New location (address, number, update local search)
  • Timeline till return to the permanent workplace

Ready to get your business back on its feet? We can help avoid the costly impact of disasters. TJ Woods Insurance offers business interruption insurance as part of our Business Owners Insurance policies. As an independent insurance agency, we can help you find the perfect collection of policies to cover your business, no matter how unique. Contact us today to get started.