Many regions of the U.S. are under lockdown and small businesses are increasingly facing the challenge of managing their day-to-day operations. From putting new ventures on hold to rescheduling important meetings and events, the crisis has pushed most firms to revisit their Business Continuity Plan (BCP). As the COVID-19 pandemic grows, it is important to act fast to mitigate the business impact and protect your small business.
Five ways small businesses can build enterprise resilience during this crisis include:
1) Prioritize Employee Safety
Your foremost priority is to ensure employee safety and wellbeing. Establish a team or assign an individual to oversee, support, and direct the BCP process. The team or individual should implement fundamental emergency measures for the current situation, including recommendations from the WHO and the CDC. In addition, initiate flexible work arrangements that allow employees to work remotely.
2) Identify Critical Functions
The objective of BCP is to prevent the suspension of critical operations and services for any reason such as the current crisis. If you have yet to do so, analyze key roles that provide essential services and are critical to the operation of the business. Consider identifying:
- the position and employee responsible for each function.
- special requirements necessary to perform critical services and functions.
3) Consider Alternative Workforce Options
Not all small businesses are well-equipped for a large, emergency rollout of remote workers. High employee absenteeism and inadequate technical capabilities can increase costs, cause delays, and even bring business operations to a grinding halt. Outsourcing your non-critical activities in these challenging times can:
- reduce the burden on your employees.
- prevent congestion on your IT infrastructure due to increased remote traffic.
- optimize your IT structure to ensure critical processes remain uninterrupted.
- help cut costs that your business would otherwise incur in support of remote work and smooth operations.
4) Prepare an Action Plan
If you have yet to do so due to the sheer chaos this crisis has created, prepare a plan that details how each critical service and function is maintained or modified. The plan should specify key decision-makers, a communication strategy, necessary actions, and expected solutions. The plan should be documented for each critical process and function.
5) Review Your Action Plan
Once your plan is prepared, regularly assess how it is working. In case of discrepancies, identify and fix the root cause immediately. Evaluate the plans to increase preparedness. Creating a business continuity plan ensures business resilience and will help your organization withstand this ongoing crisis and future disasters.
Another way to get help is by reaching out to Analytix Solutions. We realize The CARES Act sets aside $350 billion in government-backed loans for small businesses like yours. Analytix can help you assess, apply for, and administer these loans. For more information, email us at [email protected] You can also visit our COVID-19 Resources Site for articles and resources on many aspects of the pandemic.