Getting Back to Business: Continuity Planning

Now would be a good time to update your business continuity plan, as COVID-19 civil restrictions are lifted and businesses look to begin phasing back to normal operations. Having an updated plan in place could well make all the difference in how easily your firm adapts to the changing business environment that almost surely lies ahead. And if you don’t have a plan, it’s not too late to create one.

The first step is to convene key stakeholders in your organization for a thorough review of the pre-COVID business plan, continuity strategies and tactics you currently have in place. Determine what elements of the plan have changed or been impacted due to the pandemic. If you are not yet sure of what has or might change in the near term, consider everything that is likely to change once all businesses are back on line.

These “new normal” standards are bound to affect your business in both direct and indirect ways:

–Heightened hygiene standards lasting months and perhaps years.

–Continued social distancing, which the CDC and WHO have extended through the summer.

–Capacity restrictions that will require some businesses (restaurants, retail outlets, etc.) to regulate the number of people in the establishment at a particular time.

–Air travel restrictions could be in place for up to a year, by some accounts.

–More people and more companies will give up their physical offices to work virtually, while the acceleration of technology platforms related to remote work will present both new challenges and opportunities for the technology and financial services sector, in particular.

Next, begin to lay out a continuity plan with short, mid and long-term strategies and tactics that feed new operational objectives. For instance, if your strategic plan included a three-year goal to increase production in a particular business unit by 30 percent, how might plans and projections adapt in the short-term to focus on sustainability.

This stage of the planning effort is about protecting the resources you have now while creating new avenues with the capacity to support your goals and objectives during the COVID-19 recovery period.

  • Communicate openly, honestly, and often with furloughed employees. For specific communication tips relative to furloughed employees, click here. 
  • Review and revise your supply chain as necessary, with a focus on contingency planning, as well.
  • Understand we are approaching hurricane season (current predictions are for 16 named storms, higher than normal), fire season and regardless of seasonality, earthquakes. Keep focused on the future.
  • Consider your business’ mission, vision and core values and how they might grow and change to better reflect the changes in your company and team members due to the pandemic crisis.
  • Insurance is an important tool to business recovery, but be sure to analyze the overall program and the disparate policies within it. Meet with your Sentinel advisor for additional guidance.
  • Develop a proactive business continuity plan capable of significantly reducing your risk of business disruption going forward. Click here to learn more.

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