The pandemic has driven home the importance of having business crisis management plans that allow you to run your business from anywhere—at the drop of a hat.
A Gartner survey found that only 12% of business executives felt highly prepared for COVID-19. The problem, Gartner notes, is that many businesses don’t take their key operational risks seriously enough until it’s too late.
That’s why it’s so important not just to plan ahead, but also to take actions before you actually need them. Here is a checklist of 6 things you can do to make sure you’re ready for the next crisis—whatever and whenever that may be:
✓ Create a business crisis management and continuity plan
It’s hard to predict precisely how the next crisis or emergency will impact your business, especially when you don’t know what that crisis will be. But you can take a close look at your operations and think about your top risks. For example, consider:
- What if one or a few of your key employees aren’t able to work for extended periods?
- What if your customers can’t interact with your business in the usual ways?
- What if you have to temporarily shut down your operations?
Each business is different, but addressing these types of questions will help you figure out what steps you can take to mitigate your key risks quickly. If you don’t know where to start, you can find many business contingency plan templates online.
✓ Build a communication list
Communication is usually a top concern when a crisis hits. Create a priority list of everyone you likely will need to contact immediately in case of a business emergency, along with their phone and email addresses. This could be your key customers, your suppliers, your landlord and local emergency personnel. Put the list in an easy-to-find place, such as on a shared drive that can be accessed remotely.
✓ Use the cloud to store key business data
Even in non-emergency times, there are many benefits of moving business data to the cloud. But in a crisis, it behooves you to be able to securely access your company’s data from a remote location—whether employees’ homes or anywhere you happen to be.
✓ Find reliable internet
Chances are, internet access will be critical to maintaining your operations in any crisis situation. Make sure you and your employees have reliable, high-speed internet access both at the workplace and at your homes. Also, consider that you may need to interact with your customers or clients over the internet using video conferencing—as many businesses have done during the pandemic. Spectrum Business Internet offers plans starting at 200 Mbps and up through Spectrum Business Internet Gig.
✓ Use a flexible, advanced business phone service
Customers are likely to call your business in an emergency, so you want to be ready to take those calls from wherever you or your employees may be. A business phone service such as Spectrum Business Voice offers an online portal that allows you easily to forward your incoming business calls and set up other advanced features that make it easy to manage your calls and voicemails from wherever you and your employees are.
✓ Deploy remote-interaction tools
Because customers may not be able to come to your business during a crisis, make sure you’re ready to interact and transact with them remotely. Everything from e-signature platforms to ecommerce to online billing and payment tools are a boon when you need them.
Don’t wait to get ready for the next crisis. It will happen, and those businesses that prepare continuity plans will be in a much better position to navigate it.Print this article