Imagine a time when the world is far behind COVID-19. Everyone has been affected by the virus, especially business-wise. No one was prepared for it since it swooped in abruptly. Because of its aftermath, anyone will now prepare if an even more severe pandemic hit in the future. It’s essential to have an emergency plan in place for your business. This list of eight things you can do will help you ensure that you’re ready to handle the worst-case scenario:
1. Create a New Business Plan
Every five years or so, it’s a good idea to reevaluate your business plan and make sure you’re not just continuing on autopilot. Ensure that your existing contacts can keep up with rapid changes in communication, technology, and services. If they can’t adapt with you, perhaps it’s time to think about finding new partners who are better equipped for such situations.
2. Keep Supplies On Hand
Stocking up on supplies that won’t expire or go bad is one of the best ways you can prepare for a pandemic. Water, non-perishable food, and toilet paper are items that should be in every home’s stockpile—and any business owner should stock up accordingly. If your company does work from home, ensure you have enough supplies to not force out your workers into the public during an outbreak.
3. Contact Your Insurance Company
The first step to protecting your business’s health is making sure you have enough coverage. The best way to do that is by speaking with your insurance company. Once you know what they cover, you can prepare accordingly and make sure a pandemic doesn’t put your business out of commission — or even worse, out of business. Insurance companies also offer additional resources on their websites and support centers. Talk to one today; it can save your business in an emergency.
4. Draw Up Emergency Plans
Drawing up a plan for how your business will deal with pandemics, evacuations, and other emergencies means you’ll prepare yourself for whatever life throws at you. It’s a good idea to put plans in place early, so when things go awry, you can act swiftly. And while it’s essential to stay up-to-date on information regarding outbreaks, you don’t want news headlines affecting your daily operations.
Schedule regular meetings—monthly is ideal—with key staff members to keep them updated on emergency responses and preparations. This way, if you need to act quickly without worrying about being caught unaware by breaking news updates, you’re ready!
5. Think of a Fallback
No one’s immune from a global pandemic. If it happens while you’re running your business full-time, there will be severe consequences. It might seem silly now, but come up with backup plans like setting up a way to create supplemental income if you lose most of your customers to a disease outbreak.
You can also reach out to a bankruptcy attorney if things turn terrible and filing for Chapter 7 becomes necessary. The last thing you want is your company to go down in flames because you didn’t plan for something as inevitable as a pandemic. Remember, COVID-19 came out of nowhere!
6. Establish Internal Policies and Procedures
Policies and procedures aren’t only a good idea for survival preparation—they’re an absolute necessity. Think of policies as your business constitution; it lays out what is important to you and how you and your staff should do things. For instance, after writing policies, you might decide that every employee must be vaccinated against swine flu before being hired or even before returning to work following any sick days. If something happens at work that violates one of these policies, people who adhere can file grievances with their HR department or leave if they choose.
7. Check for Vulnerabilities in Your System
When disaster strikes, you can’t rely on your standard systems or networks. You need a backup plan—one that’s free from all of your regular channels and is easily accessible, no matter where you are in an emergency.
The most foolproof system for protecting yourself after a pandemic involves storing essential data documents, account numbers, and passwords; uploading your data in the cloud; and keeping it secure. For bonus points, encrypt that data before uploading so no one else has access to those precious files if they gain access to your cloud storage space.
8. Educate Employees
Don’t keep your employees in the dark about what’s going on. Let them know how you plan to survive and how you plan to keep doing business during an outbreak. The more they know and understand your planning process and approach, the more comfortable they will be with a post-pandemic situation. At least have a plan of action communicated among all personnel involved in day-to-day operations.
A lot goes into preparing for a pandemic. While there’s no guarantee you won’t be affected, some common-sense steps can ensure your business doesn’t collapse when it hits. After all, even if you don’t have any employees, someone relies on your organization to thrive. Do them a favor by ensuring things continue as smoothly as possible, even in times of crisis.