Business Continuity Plans – More Necessary Than Ever
Filed under:Private Companies
During this unprecedented time of the COVID-19 outbreak, business and nonprofit leaders have found themselves reacting quickly to news updates and finding creative ways to sustain business operations, without risking the health of their employees. Many may be asking themselves if there was any way they could have been better prepared for a situation like this.
During difficult times like these, one of the most important tools for business and nonprofits is a business continuity plan. Some of you may already have one, and may want to revisit it once the outbreak is controlled. For others, this may be a good opportunity to start brainstorming to take the first steps in the development of a business continuity plan for your company or nonprofit organization.
A business continuity plan helps businesses understand their critical business processes, and the people, technology, and other resources needed to keep those critical processes operating.
The plan can help prepare employees who are considered part of the response task force and/or those that are essential to the continuation of operations. The plan also may help you avoid blind spots as the disaster is unfolding. Business continuity plans can be utilized in business interruptions of all scales – ranging from the current global pandemic to a regional wildfire, tsunami, or flooding.
Of course, no written document can prepare a business for every possible situation, but by making updates to the plan after emergencies, leaders can learn from the past and be more prepared in the future. A business continuity plan should be a living document that is reviewed and updated at least annually.
What you can do now:
Take 15 minutes to document what is going well during this time and where the pain points are. Later, when revising or developing your business continuity plan, you will have something tangible to work from that was prepared while the situation was fresh in your mind. Below are some examples of considerations for future planning:
- Ease of employee and customer communication from off-site locations
- Critical technology (hardware and software) needed for continued operations
- Understanding your supply chain and potential risks to operations
- Liquidity management, reserves, and contingency plans for funding
Ready.gov is a national public service website from FEMA that provides great information and resources for businesses to consider for business continuity management. If you are interested in learning more on these tools and resources, please reach out to a member of the Jones & Roth team.