Most business owners have at one time or another considered, and have possibly even developed a business continuity plan.
This plan would typically identify what their business would do in the event of a fire, loss of key staff members, data breach, or other serious events that may seriously impact their business.
However, very few businesses would have actually included a “global pandemic” as a part of their planning. This is something that people simply don’t think about let alone put a structured plan in place for.
If you are one of the many businesses that have been forced to close due to the pandemic or has seen their orders drop away and their workflows interrupted, then you may be wondering how you will get back up and running when the threat of the virus has passed.
Don’t worry, you’re not alone – you are actually in the majority.
COVID-19 is something that nobody could see coming and although a minority of businesses may have had a strategic plan in place, a vast majority of businesses didn’t.
However, the good news is that you can get your business up and running again with some careful strategic planning and proper implementation.
The big question is, how do you actually go about this process and how can you implement it successfully, particularly if you are working remotely from the business operations or worse still, from another country?
When you are planning how to rebuild your business, you need a business recovery plan that covers all areas of the business.
While the threat of the virus is unique, many of the ways that the virus are disrupting your business are not. Consider the following:
You need to evaluate your existing plans and thoughts, look at how your business sits right now in terms of finances, stock, and likely future customers.
If possible you should try to run some projections to work out how your business is likely to perform when the economy starts to re-open.
The pandemic is something that is new to everyone. This is a threat that is unlike anything that we have seen since the Spanish Flu of the early 20th century. And most of us weren’t even around then!
While there have been other virus-related threats, such as SARS and MERS, the average western business owner has not had to worry about them too much.
Therefore, it’s only natural to feel confused and overwhelmed, so don’t be afraid to ask for help. As the modern catch cry says “we are all in this together”.
Even large organisations such as World Bank see the threat and have stepped up to provide support for many developing countries. It’s clear that COVID-19 is a real threat that no-one is safe from.
So, it makes sense to seek support, whether from commercial external consultants, or the local government, in order to bounce back as quickly as possible.
Operational recovery experts can help you to navigate the complexities of re-opening your business, especially if you are in an industry that will be subject to social distancing.
The recovery experts will be able to assist you with issues such as:
The best thing about this is that many of the things that you develop as a part of your coronavirus operational recovery plan will be things that you can use in the future.
These processes and structures will help to make your business more resilient when it comes to other potential threats.
Having clear objectives for when you will go back to trading, and how, and ideas to manage any future restrictions that may be put in place by the government will ensure that should there be a second peak, or even several additional waves throughout the year, your business will be well-positioned to cope.
The plan is, of course, just one part of the equation. Any implementation of your plan will need regular monitoring and evaluation to ensure that it succeeds. It’s quite possible that your first attempts at rekindling trade may not work.
Employees may struggle with productivity if they work split shifts or from home among other factors that might be totally out of your control.
Clear communication and understanding are the key to getting your business back on track. Review your progress regularly.
Alter your plans if necessary, and keep working until your business is thriving despite the challenges – and there will be lots of challenges.
If you need help building an operational recovery plan, then you need to talk to a High Velocity Business Improvement Coach or Consultant.
We are able to discuss what options are available and work together with you to devise the best way to steer your business through this crisis.
Please contact us today to book a free consultation or for more information.