July 30, 2015
Tips that prepare your jewelry business for natural disasters and minimize damage. Each year, natural disasters affected billions of people worldwide and cause trillions of dollars in damage. Yet fewer than one in six small businesses even has a business continuity plan. Make sure your jewelry company isn't one of the unlucky ones, prepare with these security tips from the security and insurance experts at Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company, Jewelers of America’s insurance partner.

How to Create a Business Continuity Plan

A natural disaster or other crisis can impact your jewelry business at any time, without warning. Creating a business continuity plan before a disaster or hardship strikes will help prepare you and your employees. Jewelers Mutual advises jewelers to take the time now to assess your business functions, both internally and externally.

You need to determine which staff, materials, procedures and equipment are absolutely necessary to keep your jewelry business operating. Start by answering these questions, provided by Jewelers Mutual, and document your answers: 

  • Which operations are critical to the survival and recovery of my business?
  • How will I handle payroll? What is my emergency payroll plan?
  • Who will make financial and accounting decisions to track costs?
  • What is my management succession plan?
  • Which employees have skills necessary to provide key business functions?

How to Protect Your Business from Natural Disasters

The path of a hurricane is tricky to predict, but your path to preparedness can start today with a few helpful security tips. If you’ve weathered a storm before, you know that by planning for the worst, you have the best chance of keeping your jewelry business up and running when the skies clear. 

Step 1. Make sure you’re covered. 

Talk with your agent or broker to understand what insurance coverage you have in force and what you will need to do in the event of a covered loss.

Step 2. Backup Files 

Your insurance information could be key to your recovery. Be sure to have a copy of your insurance policies and contact information accessible in case of damage.

Back up all the important data on your computer regularly, including a copy of your customer lists.

It may sound obvious, but don’t forget to take the backup files with you when you leave your business. They won’t be of use if you can’t access them easily.

Step 3. Catalog & Record Store Inventory & Property 

Keep a copy of your latest physical inventory and year-to-date printouts of sales, purchases, and other important records in a secure location, away from the storm.

Don’t forget to account for customers who have entrusted you with their jewelry for repair, consignment or layaway purchases.

Catalog your business personal property, such as showcases, desks, chairs, computers and equipment, too. A video of your store’s contents is a great visual record.

Contact shipping companies that serve your business, and have your incoming merchandise shipments delivered to an alternate location.

Step 4. Gather Contact Information 

You have a security system for a reason. Be sure you have remote access to these services.

Make a vendor list, complete with contact names, mailing and email addresses and telephone numbers. Don’t forget to include your accountant, attorney, payroll service and bank officer -- and, of course, your insurance agent.

Update your employee list with phone numbers, mailing and email addresses and emergency contacts.

Gather contact information for cleaning services, contractors and realtors in advance. Having this information can get you back in business.

The Jewelers Mutual  Hurricane Preparedness Guide, from JM’s website, which can be used to prepare for any disaster. Jewelers of America’s partnership with Jewelers Mutual gives members free access to JMUniversity.com.

The information provided in the Safe & Secure Series is for informational purposes only. The information is not part of an insurance policy and is not a substitute for actual policy language. 

Jewelers of America is neither a representative nor an insurance agent for Jewelers Mutual Insurance Company and therefore provides no guarantee, nor assumes any liability for the policies, coverage, or advice provided by Jewelers Mutual. It is your responsibility to ensure that any products, services, or recommendations meet your business requirements. Contact your insurance agent for specific coverage and security questions.

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