Most of the world’s major cities are under lockdown due to the coronavirus diseases (COVID-19) outbreak as of this writing. Businesses worldwide are facing unprecedented challenges. Many small and medium enterprises are even experiencing closures. Things don’t have to be all gloom though. With a business continuity management strategy in place, you can weather this storm. The right plan and right technology will help you navigate through these testing times.
Here’s how you can continue operating your business amid the coronavirus pandemic.
5 Steps Toward Business Continuity Amid the COVID-19 Outbreak
1. Create a comprehensive plan
Every battle, big and small, starts with a plan. The same is the case when it comes to business continuity management during the coronavirus lockdown. If you’re yet to plan, catch up before you miss the bus on planning. Your business plan for dealing with this crisis should not just outline what steps you’re going to take but also infrastructure and logistics you’d use.
Your plan should ideally include, not limited to, the following elements:
*A remote work plan for your business/organization (if feasible)
*A detailed list of equipment, tech solutions, and logistics you’d need for working remotely.
*How you plan to communicate with employees/business partners.
*Strategies to deal with the impacts on service delivery and customer relationship.
Once you have these elements listed down, discuss the plan with your team. Don’t forget to include all the crucial stakeholders in this discussion. As traveling and physical meetings are restricted, we suggested you use video conferencing, call conference or any other digital communication tools. A host of digital platforms are easily available for meetings and business communication. Skype, Google Meet, Microsoft Team are some of the most widely used.
2. Implement a remote work setting
This is the most important step in terms of investing in an alternate business operation model. It could be an entirely new experience for you. Maybe having a remoting work arrangement was never on your mind. But it seems to be the most viable option to keep your business operating in a market shattered by lockdowns. If you already have a work from home infrastructure, expand it significantly. But if you’re new to this work arrangement, take every step carefully.
Businesses and organizations are increasingly adopting a work from home policy. It’s not just about continuing your business only; it’s also ensuring the safety of employees and customers. With the help of server virtualization services, you can create a seamless remote work setting.
You need to analyze and decide what kind of software and internet technologies are most suitable for your business. For many businesses, this is a part of analyzing remote infrastructure management services for their operations. The best way is to get customized work from solutions for your business.
3. Communicate internally, with clarity
Effectively spreading the word about your work arrangement one of the earliest and most crucial steps in business continuity management. Most employees and business owners are profoundly concerned about their health and safety in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak.
You must stay up to date with guidelines and the latest information to keep your employees safe. Stay updated about what organizations like the W.H.O and the government are saying. Follow all the guidelines and convey those to your employees in an effective way. If you are in the service industry and have a large workforce, things become more complicated.
Use readily available digital communication channels. You can also get custom team collaboration solutions developed for your business. With the help of video conferencing, and other digital communication tools you can easily create a seamless communication process. This communication protocol should be implemented across the organization.
4. Make a disaster preparedness plan for your business
Assuming that this will be the last time you’re facing such a calamity would be a myopic attitude. As many disease experts have warned, the coronavirus outbreak could the beginning of a new era of pandemics. Prepare your business for any such disaster in the future. Your preparedness will help you tackle the current crisis and avert such potential damages in the future. Consider remote infrastructure management services if you have a vast technology infrastructure. Also make sure that you include things like insurance coverage, trip cancellations, investment management, and supply chain alternatives, among other things.
Many businesses can operate even under a crisis like the COVID-19 outbreak. However, some service providers like restaurants and movie theaters can hardly operate under such circumstances. It is, therefore, crucial for such businesses to have a disaster management policy in place to manage staff and ensure sustainability.
5. Seek help from government relief funds
Finally, it’s important for businesses, especially the small and medium ones, to take advantage of federal relief packages. Every government announces economic policies to deal with disasters like a pandemic or any other natural calamity. For example, the U.S. government has recently announced emergency loans for small businesses; the Indian government announced an economic relief package that covers business enterprises. These government measures usually include financial aid and tax relaxations for individuals and companies.
Despite looming economic challenges, it’s not too late to have a business continuity management plan in place. You still have time to set up a remote work management strategy and continue business operations. First create an actionable plan deal with the crisis, the implement a remote working strategy and communicate it with employees and customers. You also need to have a disaster preparedness plan in place. At OrangeMantra, we’re committed to helping businesses of all sizes to navigate through the crisis caused by the corona virus outbreak. We offer a complete range of remote work management solutions, including websites, cloud hosting services, and online ERP solutions, among others.
Q. Why business continuity management is important?
Business continuity management ensures that a business can provide a minimum acceptable service in the event of a disaster. It helps to preserve a brand’s reputation, revenue, business continuity. Regulators worldwide are asking businesses in essential areas to implement effective business continuity arrangements.
Q. What are the steps in the business continuity planning process?
An effective business continuity management plan comprises the following steps:
Step 1: Risk Assessment.
Step 2: Business Impact Analysis.
Step 3: Business Continuity Plan Development.
Step 4: Strategy and Plan implementation.
Step 5: Plan Testing & management.
Q. What is preparedness for a disaster?
For businesses, disaster preparedness means having measures to prepare for and reduce the effects of disasters. It means to predict and, if possible, prevent disasters, and mitigate the impact of a disaster with an effective strategy.