Creating a quick business continuity plan for COVID-19.
By having a clear picture about how the coronavirus pandemic is affecting your business—and putting in place your Plan B – a BCP can keep your confidence up and business operating.
This Business Continuity Planning Worksheet is designed to help get your business through this pandemic. It covers three areas:
1. Create an ongoing emergency response communication strategy.
2. Perform a quick Business Impact Analysis (BIA).
3. Identify critical business activity.
4. Determine your maximum acceptable length of time activities can be disrupted.
Getting back to “normal” in this situation may take several weeks or more, so you’ll want to look at how the length of downtime impacts your business. For each critical business you identified above, estimate its impact on your business over different lengths of time. This’ll help you figure out the maximum acceptable period of time an activity can be “offline” before critical failure. For example:
- 14 days
- 30 days
- 45 days
- 60+ days
5. Consider potential impacts from the activity being disrupted.
For each critical business activity, think about the specific effects a disruption might have to your business. For example:
- Loss of critical staff or store/office locations
- Lost revenue sales and income
- Decreased cash flow
- Increased expenses (e.g., overtime pay, outsourcing, drop-shipping, etc.)
6. Think about the impacts in terms of your customers and your finances.
- Customer: Delayed orders or longer shipping times can cause higher phone volume from upset customers.
- Financial: How much would disruption cost in terms of a loss in sales revenue or increased expenses.
7. Create your continuity plans.
Now that you have a clearer picture on which parts of your business are impacted and how, you can begin to strategize ways to minimize the consequences. See page 3 of the Business Continuity Planning Worksheet for developing your continuity plans.
- Copy the critical business actions you identified in step two above into the “Critical Business Activity” column of the business continuity plan worksheet.
- List out the current processes you already have in place to prevent or minimize the impact from the disruption.
- Brainstorm alternative processes or resources you could put in place quickly to restart or maintain operations.
- Identify someone to implement each recovery strategy.
Completing this simple Business Continuity exercise will give you back some degree of control—and hopefully help restore your confidence. Even if we all have to turn to our Plan B or even Plan C to keep business running, one thing’s for sure: We’re still moving forward.
- FFIEC Business continuity management (BCM) Handbook
- The U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Resilience in a Box Workbook
- FEMA’s Preparedness Checklist
- The Small Business Administration’s Guide: Prepare for Emergencies
- Department of Homeland Security’s Ready Website.
- Harvard Business Review article is offering free articles, such as Lead Your Business Through the Coronavirus Crisis
The contents of this site are provided for informational purposes only. You should always obtain independent, professional accounting, financial, and legal advice before making any business decision.