A survey from insurer Nationwide reveals they are unprepared for the future or unexpected events — even though they acknowledge the importance of best practices to protect their livelihoods, employees and customers.

Most business owners say it’s important to plan for cyberattacks, natural disasters and succession.

But the vast majority of owners report they don’t have formal plans in place, even as catastrophic weather events continue to rise and ransomware attacks become more common.

These findings stem from Nationwide’s third annual survey of more than 1,000 business owners across the country with 1-299 employees.

“Business owners are the backbone of our economy,” said Mark Berven, president of property and casualty for Nationwide. “But they can often believe the myth that ‘it could never happen to me.’ That’s why it’s crucial business owners remain prepared.”

As Berven put it, “Whether it’s planning for leadership succession or enduring an unexpected event like a cyberattack, the viability of businesses across the country is a requirement for a healthy economy that we can’t ignore.”

Nationwide’s survey asked business owners to report their experience across a wide range of topics, and results revealed alarming discrepancies in how business owners think versus how they behave in three main categories:

While many business owners are not prepared for the risks they face, two exceptions stood out.

  • Millennials are more likely than Baby Boomers or Gen Xers to say it’s important to create a business succession plan (38 percent) and build disaster preparedness kits (35 percent). They say they are also more confident in securing a financial future (82 percent).
  • African-American business owners are more likely than Hispanic or Caucasian owners to say they have a plan in place to protect employee data (56 percent), a disaster recovery plan (46 percent) and a cyber-attack response plan (41 percent). They also report that they are more confident in securing a financial future (86 percent).

To help business owners prepare and protect their businesses for the future, Nationwide recently launched the Business Solutions Center, a new online suite of solutions that can support them during key stages of development.

The site is designed to help owners identify a wide variety of needs. It also links users to other sources of information that support entrepreneurs, including Nationwide’s team of Loss Control Services consultants.

Business owners can also learn how to create a cybersecurity plan, disaster plan and succession plan through the Small Business Administration.

Find out more at www.nationwide.com