The pandemic has changed the world and how we do business. Although it has created many negative effects, it has also provided business with some valuable lessons.
Here are five we should all learn from to create a more resilient, flexible business as we move forward.
Business Continuity Plans Are Vital
Most business owners think a business continuity plan is meant for natural disasters such as a hurricane or tornado, but it applies to all disruptions.
Many companies could not operate during government mandated shutdowns and did not have an alternative business model to fall back on, either.
Every business needs to do a detailed analysis of their company to identify risks, such as communication gaps, potential broken supply chains, and the negative effects on staff and customers.
After completing their review, they need to strengthen their response to mitigate risks and to anticipate future disruptions. The pandemic has shown all companies should have a Plan B that they can fall back on as quickly and seamlessly as possible.
Brainstorm with your staff and look at what other successful businesses did to help them weather the storm. Some companies adapted products to suit new consumer needs. Others switched up their services from in-person to contactless. Think outside of the box and encourage innovation.
Remote Work Is a Viable Option
Most businesses can transition part of their operations to remote work. Administration, customer service, and HR are just a few areas that companies can handle remotely, with proper planning.
Discuss work-from-home options with all stakeholders. Pinpoint weaknesses and establish where you need to make investments in technology and training. This is vital to a seamless transition from in-person to remote work. The pandemic clearly illustrated that companies without remote readiness had to play catch up just to stay afloat.
Establish policies and procedures to provide a safe, positive working environment for employees. Find ways to collaborate and communicate remotely to improve efficiency and provide great customer service. Create a streamlined, cohesive collection of tools and processes and make sure everyone understands how to use them.
Accessible, Current Records & Systems
Cloud access to all records ensures your company can tap into the information it needs, no matter what happens. This can be extremely important during a negative event as it could allow you to apply for any available loans and grants quickly.
Also ensure cybersecurity systems are up-to-date as well as your insurance coverage. Consider adding cyber liability coverage to your Rhode Island business insurance policy. The last thing anyone needs during a disaster is the financial burden of being hacked.
Contingency Fund for Stormy Days
As your organization prepares for potential future disasters, it should definitely include a sizeable contingency fund. Set aside a small percentage of gross income to help you weather any stormy days that come your way.
When you partner with others you have a much better chance of surviving a disaster. Consider talking to other businesses in your area to develop solutions that could work if an unprecedented event occurs.
Supply lines closer to home to strengthen community and your business. Trade services or products to benefit everyone involved. It could be your lifeline in times of trouble.
If you’d like to speak to our team about some of the changes that we made during these trying times, or if you’d like us to review your business’ insurance coverages to make sure that you’ve got the right protection in place, give us a call.