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By Lisa Cochran, Owner, The Studio Salon + Studio R3

Let’s face it, as business owners we go through “storms” in business. As I write this, our friends in the great state of Texas are being hammered with Hurricane Harvey. Twelve years ago we were preparing for our own storm, Hurricane Katrina. We lost our vehicles, had damage to our home and experienced tremendous damage to one of salons.

Here’s 5 practical things I learned.

1. Get your insurance policy out now and begin to study and get very familiar with it. We qualified for business interruption and our employees got paid and the business received some compensation as well.

2. Take lots of pictures and video before the storm and after. If it all possible speak with your adjuster or agent before cleaning or removing debris from your property.

3. Wrap and secure all computers in heavy duty garbage bags and tape them up to keep them free from water. If you are not using a cloud based system back up your records. If you use SalonBiz relax, they have you covered since your information is stored on their server .

4. Unplug everything. Yes, you are going to lose power but it will come back on and you can avoid electrical issues.

5. If cash flow is a problem call all your creditors NOW! Ask for an extension or deferment on any loan payments and credit card payments that are due. Some will give you 90 days of grace to allow you to recover.

Now, what do you and your team do with all this down time while you wait for the power to come back on and life to get back to normal? SERVE YOUR COMMUNITY and LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR. Get involved with the Red Cross and go out and feed the community, work in a shelter, help the elderly with cleanup in their homes and yard. Looking back on that “storm”, I have come to the realization those were some of my fondest memories.

About the author: Lisa Cochran is the owner of two very successful salons in Hattiesburg and Laurel, Mississippi. She is a powerful entrepreneur, whose dedication to her team and her clients is evident through her success over the years. She is also a former business coach with Strategies. Outside of work, Lisa is an avid cook, loves gardening and loves serving her community through volunteer projects.