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Wyoming Business Tips for Aug. 9-15

July 24, 2015

A weekly look at Wyoming business questions from the Wyoming Small Business Development Center (WSBDC), part of WyomingEntrepreneur.Biz, a collection of business assistance programs at the University of Wyoming.

By Robert Condie, WSBDC Southwest regional director

“With the recent storms and flooding in Wyoming, what can the Wyoming Small Business Development Center (WSBDC) do to help my business that was affected by the flooding?” Misty, Afton

There are many things to think about when starting a business, and one of the many things that is often overlooked is emergency preparedness.

Emergencies affect businesses as well as individuals and their families. Having a plan in place for you and your business, and then having available resources when emergencies occur, may help you sleep better, but, more important, affect how well you can weather the unexpected emergency.

About 25 percent of businesses affected by a disaster never reopen (Insurance Information Institute 10/3/2013). For small business owners and their employees who depend upon the businesses for their income, this could further impact families who may, themselves, be struggling with the impact of disaster. What are some things to do after the storm hits?

Here are a few examples:

-- Personal assessment: First, make sure there are enough supplies (food, clothing, etc.) to cover personal needs and assure that the needs of families are met.

-- Business assessment: The most immediate task after addressing personal and safety issues is to do a quick evaluation of the situation at the business.

-- Preliminary actions: This is the next on the to-do list that needs to be taken care of or considered. Each step of this process will build on the last. This step includes more damage assessments, stakeholder contact, vendor contact, etc.

-- Current business financial position: This process is extremely important in helping decide your next steps. If you need assistance with this section, it is vital that you get it. Your accountant is the most logical place to start. Bankers also will be willing to help, as will a WSBDC adviser.

-- Reopen: As horrible as a disaster can be for your business and financial situation, what we have learned from other businesses that have gone through this process is this: The ones who took the time to pause and assess their current state of mind (as well as all the financial and physical situations) were grateful.

Pause now and ask yourself (and your family) the toughest question: Should I go back into business?

For more information, access the entire WSBDC’s “Emergency Preparedness Worksheet” on our website under the “Business Service” tab at

A blog version of this article and an opportunity to post comments are available at

The WSBDC is a partnership of the U.S. Small Business Administration, the Wyoming Business Council and the University of Wyoming. To ask a question, call 1-800-348-5194, email, or write 1000 E. University Ave., Dept. 3922, Laramie, WY, 82071-3922.

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