Take advantage of the following contingency and business planning recommendations to keep your organization healthy throughout the pandemic and well-positioned for success once it’s done.
Prioritize health and safety
Prioritize your health first if you are a solopreneur or lone owner. Reduce your commute and make the most of your home office communication and collaboration tools. If you have workers, keep them up to date on travel limitations, government pronouncements, and work-from-home opportunities.
If that is not possible and your firm is regarded as critical, take steps to reduce the danger of viral transmission at your workplace. This involves social isolation, shift splitting, and regular sanitization. It’s also a good idea to set up protocols for employees to report if they’re feeling ill, are missing, or fear they’ve been exposed to the coronavirus or are infected.
Evaluate the impact on operations
Run best-case and worst-case scenarios and establish mitigation strategies for each to assist answer that issue. Include timelines in your evaluation that take into account the effects of a pandemic if it becomes a three-month, six-month, or one-year concern.
For example, how would your company handle changes if key people become ill or have to care for family members? Identify those who can step in and learn critical jobs, such as retirees, family members, independent contractors, and artists.
What effect would it have on your revenue estimate and sales cycle if one of your clients shuts down for a few weeks or months? Similarly, if government authorities compel you to halt or adapt operations, what changes might you make to safeguard staff, revenues, and continue to service customers?
Telework has increased dramatically throughout this crisis and should be factored into your strategy. Implement policies and technology that promote collaborative and secure at-home work (home networks and devices are susceptible to security vulnerabilities). This Small Business Administration (SBA) guidance can assist you in assessing your cyber risk and taking actions to strengthen your security posture.
Create a communication strategy for reaching out to your customers, partners, suppliers, investors, and other stakeholders. Keep them up to date on your current business policies, any changes to operations, and new methods you may service or engage with them.
Be prepared to adjust
COVID-19 is altering our lives in ways and on a scale that we could never have predicted. The business strategy you had 90 days ago is no longer relevant. You must have a plan in place to adapt and reorganize your business for each stage of the crisis. If it’s a short-term issue, decreasing prices and other variable spendings like marketing, new hiring, and travel may be enough to get you through.
If your business has had immediate effects, look for methods to satisfy your clients’ requirements or diversify your products and services during this period. Dog walking firms, for example, are generating cash in novel ways. Some are assisting customers in vulnerable age and health groups by performing their grocery shopping.
Others are discovering new clients among at-risk groups or families with home-schooled children who are suddenly in need of a dog walker. It’s difficult to see and plan too far ahead. However, if the pandemic and lockdowns last for many months to a year, you’ll need another contingency plan, one that considers renegotiating fixed spending, slashing benefits, and perhaps layoffs.
Examine your financial situation
Any emergency or contingency plan should take financial risk and effect into account. Update and check your cash flow estimate regularly, and seek ways to cut non-essential spending.
Examine your accounts receivable and identify any credit issues. Do you have a financial safety net from which to draw? Many business owners have savings that they may use. Another alternative is to obtain a company line of credit before you need it, allowing you to draw cash during a crisis or epidemic.
Keep up with the ever-changing compliance environment
Keep an eye on changing government developments that directly affect your job, such as submitting papers and response times, if you own an LLC. Many Secretary of State offices have discontinued expedited services, while others have discontinued or severely limited counter service.
Having a remote staff can also create additional state compliance obligations, such as state payroll and income tax reporting, or the necessity to register to do business in a new state.
Be ready to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
With your staff safe and healthy, and your operational and financial repercussions as little as possible, take stock and consider how you can effectively resume operations once the COVID-19 epidemic has passed.
This is likely to be a life-changing event, bringing with it a plethora of new opportunities for startups and small business owners. Look for quick wins, such as renegotiating contracts with suppliers and vendors. Listen to your consumers and look for methods to help them.
Find strategies to increase efficiency in your organization, such as minimizing your physical footprint by making work-from-home rules permanent. Consider your financial status as well. Is there anything you can do to assure a solid cash flow and a safety net in the future?
Nobody knows what will happen next or if a pandemic like this will occur again in our lives. However, it is beneficial to have a strategy in place to guide your company through situations such as COVID-19 and to ensure that it is in a good position to recover after it has gone.You may also like:
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