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Ward, Hayden
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Business Survival Guide Part 2: Contingency Planning

Bed and Breakfast Contingency Planning

In part 1 of our series, Business Survival Plan: Guide to Finance, we focused on how to be financially secure during a crisis. Part 2 is about contingency planning to help you prepare for unexpected events and minimize their impact. In this article, we’ll explore how to create your own contingency plans, how to be proactive on decreasing the impact of risks, and why these are essential to the Bed & Breakfast industry.

There is always the chance of an unforeseen event happening that could disrupt your normal business operations – whether that is a natural disaster or COVID-19. While not all events will shut down your business like the pandemic, having a contingency plan for your Inn is an absolute must in order to recover quickly from the disruption. How do you handle cancellations? What about a guest getting injured on the grounds? Each of these situations need resolutions with specific steps to get your business back on track. Having a contingency plan will help you react quickly and ensure you are focused on the right steps to get your business up and running as quickly as possible.

How to create a contingency plan:

1. Identify the Risks

To help you determine what should be in your plan, you first need to identify all potential risks that could negatively impact your Bed & Breakfast business. Natural disasters, a sudden influx of cancellations, guest injuries, decreased revenue, and data breaches are all risks that could have a negative effect on your business and your key resources. Prioritize and organize your information based on their impact to your business and probability of them occurring.

2. Determine the Essentials and Timelines

Once you know your risk, you need to identify ways to mitigate those risks. If an emergency should happen, what is necessary to keep your Inn open? This can include internet, telephones, and other services like electricity. Construct a backup plan for each of the risks you identified earlier to keep these vital resources available. Make sure you have a step-by-step plan that outlines what to do when an event happens and who to contact to help you keep your business running. Create and keep a list of people and companies that may need to be contacted, such as employees, utilities, insurance agent, cleaning crew and others.

If you were unable to work, know who can step in for you and fill that position. Communicate who will be responsible for reporting an emergency and notifying the appropriate groups. Keep in mind what needs to be done in order to resume normal operations during the event (if possible) and after the impact of one. Clarify timelines for everything that should be completed after an event. 

3. Insure Your Business

Safeguard your Bed & Breakfast by mitigating risks through insurance. As an Inn owner, risks associated with property damage, liability, and even income protection in the event of a covered loss need to be addressed in your policy. CBIZ Innkeepers Insurance offers comprehensive coverage designed for your Bed & Breakfast. Having the right kind of insurance will help protect you against the specific risks your company faces. 

4. Keep Your Contact Information Up-to-Date

Although it may not be a huge part of your overarching contingency plan, periodically review contact information for your key resources. Take the time to write down in-case-of-emergency contact information, take a photo of it, and set it as your lock screen on your cell phone. You never know what could happen!

5. Revisit and Adapt

Once plans have been created, make sure that they are easily accessible and shared with everyone who would need to be aware of the plan. While there is no way to account for every possible scenario that could affect your Bed & Breakfast business, you can at least identify the major events. Once your plan is in place, make sure you keep it up-to-date. Periodically revisit your strategy and make updates to ensure it reflects any changes to your business or list of emergency contacts. 

Remember, owning a Bed & Breakfast comes with risks, but you can help reduce those by creating a contingency plan and purchasing insurance coverage. Speak with one of our CBIZ Innkeepers Insurance experts today! 

This blog may contain scenarios that are provided as examples only. In an actual claim situation, coverage is subject to the terms, conditions and exclusions of the policy issued. The information provided is general in nature and may be affected by changes in law or the interpretation of such laws. The reader is advised to contact a professional prior to taking any action based upon this information.


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CBIZ Innkeepers Insurance, a division of CBIZ Insurance Services, Inc., is the largest insurer of innkeeper businesses in the United States. As part of an $850 million New York Stock Exchange traded company (CBZ), we developed a specific policy coverage to meet the needs for inns and bed & breakfasts, and the amenities offered by these businesses. Our policy is underwritten by an A.M. Best Rated A++ (Superior) company.

The CBIZ Innkeepers Insurance team knows insurance, specifically the risks and exposures related to beds & breakfasts. We won't confuse you with technical "insurance speak"  our representatives will explain your coverage in simple terms. With hands-on, personal customer service, we guarantee swift communication. As specialist in the industry, we leverage our knowledge and passion to ensure you and your inn are protected.





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