Don't Panic. Plan!

"The main aim is to assess the situation, understand what needs to be planned for and implemented should the need arise"

Unless you have been living under a rock, it’s no secret that most people have been thinking about what's going to happen regarding the COVID-19 pandemic that is picking up speed in Australia.

We wanted to put together a brief overview of what to think about regarding your business, and how you can prepare should there be a lock down and people need to work from home or, a number of your staff become unwell and you need to ensure the continuity of your business.

Firstly, all businesses large and small can benefit from putting together a business continuity plan (BCP). For most businesses sizes this doesn't need to be a 100 page document, it could be just a few pages that clearly outline what you will need do in a specific scenario.

The main aim is to assess the situation, understand what needs to be planned for and implemented should the need arise.

Step 1:

Assessing the situation:

  • What are the key functions that may be affected

  • How long can the business afford downtime without having a major effect

  • What additional resources will be required to continue the business should issues arise

  • Are all the required processes and procedures documented so any member of staff can function in a particular role

  • What message will be relayed to staff and customers

  • What are the capabilities of running telecom and technology during a crisis

Step 2:

Planning for changes in business operation:

  • Based on the above, all required procedures should be documented and tested

  • Will there be additional costs associated with downtime or changes in work functionality, if there are these need to be worked out and put into a time lined scenario

  • If your business needs to work remotely, how will staff notified and monitored for their roles and well being

  • What are the remote facilities and are they sufficient to continue the daily operations

Step 3:

Testing your plan:

  • The above procedures can be planned out through activating some immediately to test if they work and reporting changes needed

  • Dry running remote operations, alternative staff executing daily procedures

  • Testing cash flow modelling so if there was a downturn for a period of time, how long can this be sustained

  • Regularly reviewing the continuity plan and adjusting if needed to be sure the business can remain operational

So the above is small snapshot for putting together a robust business continuity plan, outlining some of the key points to take action on and assess regularly.

The current situation with COVID-19 is most likely a remote working scenario, so looking at this scenario first may be a good way to start the development of a full BCP

Above all however, staff are the most important part of business and making sure they feel informed, safe and comfortable should a situation arise is paramount.

So plan well, keep safe and take care of everyone around you.