6 out of every 10 businesses that had to temporarily close during the COVID pandemic will remain closed forever. Harrowing statistics like that have not only broken hearts and crushed livelihoods but have also paved the way for very serious conversations surrounding developing an emergency preparedness plan for business.
While some emergencies are too extraordinary to reasonably predict, several are common enough that preparedness is possible.
So then, how does your preparedness plan look? Does your company have one? Are you ready to tackle most conceivable adversities?
If your plan is lackluster or non-existent, keep reading. Below, our team breaks down steps you can take to solidify your company’s longevity.
1. Consider Working With a Preparedness Advisor
The process of creating an emergency preparedness plan for business is something that a company can do on its own. We always like to recommend, if financially feasible, working with a preparedness advisor though.
Preparedness advisors are consultants that work with organizations in your industry. They’re well-versed on the issues that commonly afflict businesses like yours and can help make sure your preparedness plan airtight.
Some preparedness consultants give free consultations so find one to speak with. Whether or not you choose to hire them, we’re confident you’ll gain value from the conversation.
2. Self-Assess Your Company’s Risks
If you chose to go at creating an emergency preparedness plan on your own, the first thing you’ll need to do is self-assess your risks. Risks are anything that could seriously harm your organization’s efficacy.
For example, road construction that makes accessing your business difficult. A natural disaster. An employee strike.
Be as thorough as possible when going through each risk factor as this step sets the table for the rest of your plan’s development process.
3. Define the Impact Each Risk Could Present to Your Company
With your risk-factors listed out, your next preparedness plan step will be to define the gravity of each of your risks. Let’s take an employee strike as an example.
A strike would mean reduced or no labor. It would mean reduced customers given that most won’t cross picket lines. You’d produce fewer products and would take in less revenue during the duration of the strike. Prolonged striking could, consequently, lead to closure.
By attaching effects to each of your risk factors, you can better understand the gravity of potential occurrences which may inspire you to be more proactive in prevention.
4. Chart Out Your Path to Recovery
Now we get to the meat and potatoes of our business emergency preparedness process! Look at your risk factors, their impact, and start to develop a plan as to how you’d either eliminate the risk or survive it if it’s something that’s out of your control.
Be detailed when penning solutions. You should be able to hand your plan to somebody that has very little visibility into your business and could feasibly follow your directions to solve each of your issues.
As you draft recovery plans, challenge yourself at every step by questioning what could go wrong with your process. The more air-tight you can make your workflow, the more streamlined your recovery will be in a real-world situation.
5. Connect With Stakeholders to Test Your Plan’s Efficacy
Your business recovery plan shouldn’t exist in a vacuum. If any aspect of your plan relies on help or buy-in from other parties, get in contact with them, and see if what you’re planning sounds reasonable.
If part of your plan to deal with reduced income due to city construction projects is to get help from an insurance company, talk to companies to see if plans would cover you in that situation. If part of your plan to deal with a chemical spill is to bring in a contractor to help clean, head over to http://www.hcienv.com/services/spill-response.asp to better understand what working with these kinds of contractors entails.
6. Adjust Your Plans Every Year
If you’ve made it to the point where you have a detailed plan drafted for your company’s conceivable emergencies, good on you. Take pride in knowing that you’re ahead of the vast majority of other organizations.
Your work isn’t done yet though!
Risk factors evolve all the time. Help you may have been able to count on last year may not be available this year.
All that to say you should audit your preparedness plans annually to make sure they hold up. You should also make sure you’re on the lookout for new risks to add to your plan.
7. A Little Bit of Savings Go a Long Way
At the core of most preparedness plans is having money socked away to pay for interruptions to your business. Saving money can be hard, particularly for small companies.
Believe us when we say though that by siphoning a little bit of cash away each month, you’ll put yourself in a position to weather most of the storms the world throws at you.
Having an Emergency Preparedness Plan for Business Secures Your Future
Economies rise and fall. Being able to deal with the lows is a challenge all businesses will face at some point. Your preparedness to do so will impact your ability to maintain your livelihood.
With your future on the line, we hope you take seriously the guidance we’ve given you on crafting an emergency preparedness plan for business. If you require additional guidance on this topic of a bevy of others related to commerce, explore more content on our blog.