Although the global pandemic has made it a challenge for businesses to operate, business owners have been resilient and adapted to create plans to get back to business. As a business owner during a pandemic, you will need a solid and proactive business plan that is continually changing and evolving.
By implementing a business continuity plan for the pandemic, businesses are more likely to continue running without risking personnel safety. If you're concerned about facing risks during this time, it's crucial to develop strategies to combat these potential challenges. In addition to utilizing these plans during a pandemic, these business processes can also be utilized during natural disasters as Earthquakes, Hurricanes, Wild Fires, or any other unforeseen event that may happen while you are in business.
What is a Business Continuity Plan?
When running a company, it's smart to establish a business continuity plan. Traditionally, organizations use them to preserve business operations and recover from random risks or threats, such as natural disasters or cyber-attacks. Even if a true plan is not set on paper, it's a good idea to prepare for unforeseen threats to your business.
Due to the pandemic, many small businesses needed to take action and develop a business continuity plan for COVID-19.
Before implementing the business continuity plan, you'll need to consider several factors that could impact your business and how it operates.
Some actions might include discussing your business' core services, financial shifts, and planning for the unexpected. Ideally, it should cover risk management, business impact, incident response, and recovery plans.
Your business continuity plan for a pandemic should have protocols that are easy to understand and flexible for everybody involved.
Why It’s Important to Have a Small Business Pandemic Plan
A Pandemic Plan is probably something prior to 2020 you never even considered having in place, but if you want to keep your small business thriving during these difficult times, you should establish a small business pandemic plan. You may need to take several measures to keep running a business while staying safe during the coronavirus pandemic. A disaster plan may also include finance options like SBA loans or a Line of Credit, to keep the business operable during these times.
Business owners can implement many strategies into their pandemic plan, such as outlining expected staff availability should they contract the virus and need time off. You can also prioritize which business functions are most crucial for your small business' operation, and which business functions you may not need during these times, perhaps pivoting that staff to other tasks to ensure your have coverage for your business. Another thing you can do is reviewing your monthly expenses and seeing what costs can be cut, even if it's simply reaching out to some of your vendors to see if they are offering reductions in monthly expenses, taking a deep dive into some cost savings items will help steady your business and can keep your cashflow positive.
Workplace Pandemic Preparedness Plan
Depending on the type of business you run, you should establish a workplace pandemic preparedness plan to keep your business on track. We use these plans to take preventative and active response measures. Establishing these protocol practices will ensure all involved parties' safety and functionality in the workplace.
Some examples of implementing these workplace plans include:
- Daily temperature checks
- Mandatory health screenings or testing before returning to the workplace after travel
- Wearing protective masks to minimize spread of the virus
- Keeping an appropriate distance away from other employees and clients or customers
- Adding protective partitions to separate your employees or employees from customers
If your industry allows, you can also implement working from home to reduce the number of people present in the office at any given time or staggering employee schedules so there are less staff in the building at one specific time. Also, performing routine cleaning for reducing the spread for employees working in the workplace. If they are new to telecommuting practices, you can provide training.
How Business Funding Can Help
Among the many options you can use to keep your business running during the pandemic are business funding avenues. If you own a small business, you may qualify to apply for an SBA loan.
If a COVID-19 small business grant or loan is in your pandemic plan, explore your options. Applying for financing could be the boost your organization needs to survive the pandemic and get back to business.
About the Author, James Webster
James Webster, founder and CEO of ROK Financial has almost two decades of experience within the financial services industry. His passion for helping small business owners and his innovative way of thinking, has allowed him to run multiple successful businesses including National Business Capital & Services. Under the National name, the team was able to help secure over $1 Billion in financing for small businesses nationwide.