Coronovirus is causing chaos in the global economy. Some states in the US are trying to stop its spread by shutting schools and banning public events. Yesterday, Italy closed all non-essential shops and businesses. These measures impact businesses as employees deal with child care options and businesses respond on the fly. It is not too late to develop a business continuity plan to help you through this process.
Business continuity plans provide a playbook for responding to crises including these government measures. They help businesses to keep operating and provide back-up plans to do so. BCPs are used to establish what businesses will do if (i) there is limited or no access to the office or a business location where data is located, (ii) a significant number employees are sick or absent to take care of children, or (3) the business closes due to an emergency or government order.
The playbook should be provided in a hard copy to key employees so they know what to do. Some basic steps you should take when drafting this playbook include:
Collect all important information in one document including employee information (address, phone number, personal email address, etc.); regulatory contacts, insurance policy numbers and copy of insurance plans, major service providers and suppliers, and customers.
Establish a command center with a conference call number and designate key employees who are responsible for getting the business through the crises.
Establish a chain of command and areas of responsibility for issues that come up.
Determine whether certain employees must relocate to a different geographic area to handle employee absence due to illness or childcare responsibilities. Understand what your organization will do if public transportation including air, train and mass transit are shut down. Determine whether you need to hold hotel rooms in case of an emergency.
Establish a communication network with your organization to provide updates and to keep employees informed of when they are expected back at work.
Continue to modify the plan for unexpected events or new information.
BCP’s provide a method for organizing chaos and creating back up plans for high-risk areas. Taking this approach can help you mitigate losses to inventory, customer base, and unforeseen operating costs. Addressing insurance issues quickly can also help you quickly get the money that you really need.
No one is prepared for coronovirus. A BCP can help your business take steps to be better prepared. Please reach out to us directly at email@example.com for a free business continuity plan template.