These are unprecedented times for businesses and their people. It is the time that businesses should be reviewing their business plans and forecasts to ensure they can get through this stormy period we are currently in. Not only should business plans be reviewed but business continuity planning should be undertaken to develop a plan to get through the coming months. A Business Continuity Plan helps identify the actions to take to prepare for the impact of Covid-19; to maximise entitlements to Government and other support and minimise the downstream impact of a downturn in business.
The Business Continuity Plan is designed for business owners to ensure they build resilience, preserve profitability, cashflow and employment for their team and survive through this difficult time. Having a plan is essential. Planning not panicking!
Forecasting is also essential at this time. Forget the normal 90 day plan instead have a real-time weekly plan and be prepared for it to become a daily one. Look at what costs can be cut back on but be careful not to cut back so much that you are unable to execute and operate as you need to when you need to.
Things you need to consider for your plan:
Look after yourself and your family
Your wellbeing and that of your family is the most important thing at this time. Look after your mental and physical health. Remain proactive and positive, focus on the facts and ignore alot of the negative social media and news posts.
Support your team
Your team members will be worried about job security. Be open with your team. Share your plan with them and be honest about the potential impact the pandemic will have on your business. If there are to be job losses, ensure you obtain legal and HR advice on the best way to handle restructuring, stand down, reduced hours, and redundancy processes.
If they are able to carry on working from home make sure they have the essential tools to do their job efficiently. Agree with employees what they need to work on for the coming month from home, keeping in mind they may have distractions of children at home. Set a communication plan – eg weekly Zoom or Skype meetings just to catch up and set the week ahead.
If you have staff with time on their hands, what value adding projects can they do over this 4 week period that will make the business stronger when you go back? ie upskilling, e-learning, tidying up databases, finetuning backend processes etc.
Supporting and retaining customers
Communication with your customers is essential. Let them know how you will be workinf for the next month – ie not at all, no change except working from home. Share the channels they can use to communicate with you ie online meeting hubs, cellphone or emails.
Seek help from Mentor/Advisor
The JMA team is here to help you from their home offices. Please get in touch to see how we can help you at this time.
* JMA’s Business Continuity Planning Sessions are registered with the Management Capability Development Voucher Fund. Find out more by visiting http://www.regionalbusinesspartners.co.nz.