I live in Orlando, Florida and have two physical therapy clinics on the outskirts of town. Now anyone knows that in Florida, we get a good sized hurricane every couple of years. It causes a week of pandemonium before the storm; people buying all the bread and bottled water from the grocery stores, boarding up their homes, and preparing for the worst. Unless you’re a grocery store or a home improvement store, it pretty much sucks for business at this point and the storm hasn’t even come yet.
A huge stress factor for me as a practice owner is making the decision about if and when we will close because of a storm. I am glued to the weather channel to be able to gauge and have a basis for my decisions. We all know if the clinic is closed, there is no revenue coming in. But I am also responsible for the safety of my amazing employees. And let’s face it, if my employees cannot safely drive into work, then no patients are going to either. But nonetheless, it’s still a tough thing to call.
Once you ride out the storm and know that everyone is safe and the roads are clear, then the question becomes “when can we open up again for business”?
I am the type of person that always gets an extended warranty. I always elect to have extra coverage beyond the normal for insurance policies. You just never know what could happen. I was fortunate to have a policy in 2017 that covered my business in the case of damage from a storm. I had one clinic that was out of commission for a full week after a hurricane, and even though it was stressful waiting and not knowing when we’d be back up and operating, I had piece of mind knowing that I could still pay my bills and pay my team.
Because of my experience, I cannot emphasize enough the need to be over-prepared for things that might be thrown your way as a business owner. It’s better to be safe than sorry. Always.