Many businesses can excel in the short-run, but only a selected few will last in the long-run. More often than not, these tend to be companies that have a Business Continuity Plan (BCP) in place. If you’re not familiar with BCP or need a quick refresher, click here to learn more about BCP.
In this blog post, we’ll be diving deeper into three crucial areas to take note of when it comes to creating an effective Business Continuity Plan (BCP) for your business to handle any crisis.
The first area that your BCP needs to cover is how to protect your employees. Human resources management needs to be your number one priority. Your employees rely on you to keep them safe while they are working and you rely on them to provide service to your customers.
There are three scenarios your employees will encounter during an emergency such as COVID-19:
In scenario 1, you need to provide your employees with status updates regarding their return to work, if they will be returning to work. Even if the circumstances are uncertain, you should maintain transparency in your regular communications to them on the situation.
Scenario 2: When working from home, you need to help ensure that employees are up-to-date, are set up to work productively (where possible), and still maintain engagement with the company. This will look different for each organisation but can include things like access to a secure VPN access to communication tools that allow them to stay in contact, company-provided tools (i.e: laptops, phones, etc.), and clear expectations regarding what they are needed to accomplish during these times.
Scenario 3: When not working from home, your BCP should outline how you plan to keep your employees safe while they are at work.
You can refer to the following checklist as you put together this section of your BCP to ensure you don’t miss anything.
Your BCP should also address processes and procedures that can be put in place to ensure that the business can run as smoothly as possible considering the situation and prevent your company from becoming obsolete. There are a few areas you need to cover while formulating your BCP in order to come up with the essential processes you need to maintain to keep your business up and running.
First, spend some time during the continuity planning process reviewing non-critical business expenses. One area that many SMEs cut first is their marketing and advertising budget. Make sure you know what your spending and conversion numbers are while you are making these decisions. Do you expect the same results during MCO? Remember that your advertising budget could bring in more revenue than before. Do not just follow your competitors blindly and pull out all your marketing during an emergency.
Secondly, you need to take a look at your product offerings and how they should change when you implement your BCP. You should only be offering your core products while operating under your BCP. With reduced resources and mobility due to working from home conditions, it is important to figure out which core offerings contribute to the largest percentage of revenue for your company. What can you do to maintain the delivery of this product?
Lastly, you need to relook at employee roles. Some roles may be redundant during a prolonged emergency such as the COVID-19 pandemic. You will need to either change employee roles or have to look at how to reduce headcount. If you think you will need to cut positions, one thing to consider is making just one big round of layoffs rather than multiple small rounds of layoffs.
We have compiled the following business process and procedures checklist for you to refer to as you draft this section of your BCP.
For working in the office/physical outlets:
The last area you need to address in your BCP is how you will continue to interact with and serve your customers and stakeholders. Supplier and customer management is essential to whether your business can weather the current crisis. Tools like Omni are great for helping you accomplish this. Once you have crafted this section of your BCP, take the time to share your plan with partners and relevant stakeholders. It’s also a good idea to see if they will share their plan with you. This way you can coordinate actions and responses during an emergency. This process is also an excellent opportunity to take another look at whether you need to diversify your partners or suppliers.
When you have finalised your BCP, take the time to communicate the relevant parts with your customers. This is a great way to manage your customers’ and stakeholders’ expectations regarding the delivery of your product or service during a time of emergency.
The following two checklists will help ensure you cover all the necessary topics in this section of your BCP.
For physical outlets open, ensure that rules are adhered to for social distancing:
With these three areas clearly outlined in your Business Continuity Plan (BCP), your business is now well-equipped to handle any crisis that comes your way.
If you are interested to learn more about altHR, find out more here.