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Business continuity during Coronavirus: COVID-19 business continuity plan

coronavirus worksheet showing the impact that it have on businesses
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The coronavirus and business continuity is something that needs a practical application if economies plan to bounce back from this decline. In times of global pandemics like the current coronavirus situation, all companies need a business continuity plan. It is essential to have an emergency scenario. This is crucial to continue business operations during the pandemic. At these times, organizations need to become proactive to minimize the effects and dangers of the Coronavirus.

In the current situation, business continuity management includes identifying and managing risks to employees, infrastructure, communications, and other organization operations.

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Your company recovery strategy needs to contain the key components of a business continuity plan.

That is to help manage the organization in times of challenges like this to ensure continuity in terms of production and operations.

What is business continuity management?

Business continuity management involves creating a strategic business plan that contains all the activities.

And actions needed to bring back a business to optimum operational capacity.

Technically, the business continuity plan is an organizational strategy that includes the corporate recovery plan and prevention of risks in major disasters like the current pandemic.

Naturally, businesses create a continuity plan in global pandemics, terrorism, arson, floods, and other natural disasters.

Business continuity management is usually handy when there has been a significant disruption of your company operations.

One good example of an everyday situation where business continuity management is frequently administered is when a company or an organization changes its physical location.

Alternatively, a coronavirus and business continuity plan is also needed if there is a significant renovation of an organization’s place of operation.

The viral outbreak seems to be such a severe challenge to businesses because of its fast-spreading and global presence.

The virus comes with numerous unforeseen circumstances for organizations.

Only proactive companies will be able to weather the storm.

Thus, an increasing number of businesses are looking to create and consolidate their strategies to help them handle the effects of the viral outbreak.

It is for every company to have a business continuity management plan to address the viral outbreak within their capacity.

Creating a plan for business continuity management:

Technically, every organization should have a comprehensive action plan which identifies all the risks that can impact the employees, customers, and operations.

a laptop with a notebook for writing best business continuity plan.
Image from Pixabay

For organizations to prepare better for the adverse effects of the viral outbreak.

We have prepared a list of actionable strategies that will help organizations create or help improve their existing business continuity management plans.

1) Make the safety of your employees a top priority.

In this current situation, the health and well-being of your staff should be of importance to you.

You can begin this point by dealing with the staff who have signs of the Covid-19.

To ensure all employees’ safety, send home any of them that seem to have flu or cold symptoms.

Furthermore, as you do this, you should also ensure that you maintain communication with all employees to help reassure them.

Some employees in an office.
Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

It would help if you considered remote working scenarios where your non-essential staff can work from home.

You should check if you have the capacity, technology, and tools to support your remote staff.

Additionally, it would be best if you looked into expanding or introducing flexible working scenarios.

Depending on your company or the industry’s nature, you might reallocate resources and reorganize teams.

An essential adjustment that all businesses will be forced to implement is to put in place safety measures to help curb the spread of the coronavirus continuity workplace.

Organizations are expected to have hand sanitizing/washing facilities at prominent locations, enforce the use of face screens/masks, keep a distance of 3 or more meters from the next person.

And, imploring people with flu-like signs to isolate themselves at home for 14 days, and all that.

These are all the measures to ensure a safe work environment for all.

It is important to note that in some countries where the viral outbreak seems to have the deadliest impact.

Also, any organization/person found flouting such safety protocols will severely deal with.

2) Try to identify the effects and dangers of the Covid-19

For a company looking to ensure coronavirus and business continuity of operations, it is essential to be abreast of the most recent news and protocols implemented by the government.

This usually helps you with crucial tips on detecting the dangers and the general impact of the viral outbreak on your business.

When looking for possible impacts if the pandemic, businesses should consider the following scenarios:

Since there are travel restrictions mandated by governments, some employees may find it impossible to come to work.

Also, staff that comes to work with public transports are at risk of contracting the virus from other commuters.

Furthermore, many parents may find it challenging to work since they have to care for their children now that most schools are closed.

When there is a national shutdown, employees may not be able to attend work or access workspaces.

There could be a visible decline in sales when there is a nationwide shutdown.

This would be due to customers not being able to purchase products and services.

This will lead to a rapid decline in sales.

Businesses and employees should consider the possibility of a massive laying off of their workforce to help cushion the financial impact of the covid-19.

This means that the company should be ready to put together a welfare package for sacked employees to serve as a severance package and palliatives against the Covid-19 situation.

There will generally a minimized workforce performance if employees are told to work from the house.

They might not have access to the same quality of technology and resources.

This will generally lead to minimal efficiency and productivity.

There would be an increased cost of managing a remote workforce.

Organizations might be forced to implement resources that will help their remote staff function optimally as they would in the office.

This will come as an additional cost for the company since your employees will force to acquire special equipment, software, and communication devices.

Moreover, organizations should prepare for a complete close down as most governments mandate that organizations not providing essential services to shut down completely.

This is as some organizations lack the means or reason to provide a workforce working from home.

This will result in unpaid leave for the affected staff.

In a nutshell, your continuity management plan expects to list all the dangers of the viral outbreak while planning for the business’s activities to eliminate the risks.

It would be best if you were transparent in identifying the effects and dangers of Covid-19.

If the company cannot work in this pandemic, you should include this in your plan and state the different reasons you were unable to work.

3) Create channels for transparent and open communication.

During such catastrophic events like this, employees will generally look up to employers, government officials, and community leaders for guidance.

This, you will have to be transparent and open to your staff at this time.

Businesses expect to be explicit in their approach and to establish straightforward and clear steps for people to follow.

In setting up the coronavirus and business continuity management plan, you will have to consider all staff’s needs and think about the platform that is best for their communication needs.

You should create a communications strategy that includes staff, suppliers, senior management, government regulators, suppliers, and customers with frequent updates.

Ensure that you get your news updates from news sources verifiable like the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

4) Recreate your recovery plans to help continue business operation.

With the spread and impact of Covid-19 continually changing the way businesses operate, this is the best time to review all your existing plans for your company.

These plans include both your Business Continuity Management Plan as well as the Business Recovery Plan.

For organizations to properly address the challenges that could with the viral outbreak, they are expected to:

Monitor the direct cost impacts

These costs would normally include the widespread impact of Covid-19 on all products and services’ cost margins.

Sometimes, this could mean for you to renegotiate your terms and conditions wherever.

Businesses that are not proactive and slow to respond to these changes, will become prone to financial challenges.

Furthermore, there could be a long-term implication of the impact on the company’s finances.

Think about other options for their supply chain

Businesses should look for other options if their material and product suppliers are located in areas that have been highly affected by the Covid-19.

They should also ensure that they constantly maintain communication with every one of their suppliers.

Discover how the pandemic affects your plans and budgets

It would be best if you began by carrying out multiple assessments with different scenarios to properly understand how the covid-19 affects your business’s general performance.

The assessments should also include the expected duration of the impact.

It should also state the way that it has affected your suppliers and how it has forced you to change your previously set budget predictions.

In the case that your present strategies are no more relevant because of the unexpected effects of the Cold-19, it could be best for you if you think about revising your business plan.

Find out other alternative sources of funding

In the current situation, it is expected for many businesses to be plagued with the problem of short-term finances.

Using your findings from the assessment of your company plans.

However, you may want to look at the possible short-term capital sourcing, debt refinancing, short-term liquidity.

Or any type of financial support from your investors, partners, or banks.

5) Make key corporate processes and functions a priority.

You should consider the most important products and services which are provided by your company.

Plus the customers that these products are delivered to.

With this, you could easily determine the high-rise segments of your company.

Additionally, you are expected to outline the different dependencies and calculate the possible financial losses which may befall the company.

As soon as you complete this exercise, you should be able to prioritize the business segments that need additional attention.

6) Take advantage of available unsupported and funding.

Across the world, the impact of Covid-19 has led to different governments offering different financial support.

And other palliatives to help cushion the financial effects on the general public.

There have been numerous initiatives from governments, NGOs, and other charitable organizations not to help families and small businesses cope at such times of uncertainty.

You must be on the lookout for nationwide private and government opportunities that can be of help to your business at this time.

For instance, there could be the availability of capital loans with low interests from government organizations and agencies.

These sorts of opportunities can maximize to complement the existing capital you have.

7) Revise and review your entire business strategy.

As soon as the Covid-19 has been successfully controlled, it will be better to think about changing your whole plan.

Technically, you should assess all your plans, which include, the business continuity management plan, communications, and marketing strategies.

This present revision should rapidly implement and done systematically with the way the viral outbreak changes.

Then again, it will be a good move if organizations use the pandemic as a lesson learned.

If you have completed the assessment and there are certain deficiencies, then you will have to check out for:

  • The root causes
  • Timing of the action
  • Absence of infrastructure
  • Shortages in labour
  • External environmental problems

Planning for the long term

As your business continuity management helps develop your company throughout this current period of uncertainty, it is always strategic to plan.

By planning, this means that you will have to consider various possible outcomes after this current phase.

One possible outcome is that it might drag on for a while.

And organizations will have to learn how to do more with less or suffer some losses.

They should think about how they can become productive with different scenarios such as reduced staff, low capital, minimum supplies, etc.

Also, they should expect their supply chains to disrupt.

With the current pandemic still waging a war on the entire planet, no one knows how long more it will last.

However, organizations are recommended to follow these coronavirus and business continuity for management tips to help stay productive and functional.

Certain companies help organizations weather the storm of the viral outbreak.

Some examples are Business Continuity International and Esri Business Solutions, who are professional business process continuity experts.