Time and time again, businesses will be faced with new threats. It can be in the form of competitors, new technology that disrupts your current technology, or even natural disasters. The recent Coronavirus, or Covid-19, pandemic is yet another wake up call for businesses around the globe of a new threat that can attack at any time. What can a business do to prepare for this, and prevent reduced revenue, ceased operation or, even worse, closure?
This should not be a new topic in this era. Crisis Management is crucial to a company as it ensures a business can operate during a crisis or, at the very least, recover as fast as possible to get the operations going again. No matter what stage your business may be at, whether you are a fresh startup, a small or medium enterprise or a high-rolling enterprise, it is never too early nor too late to start drawing up your company’s Business Continuity Plans (BCP). It’s not about being pessimistic towards your company but it is about preparing for the worst. BCP’s help a company in many situations. From potentially saving the lives of your employees by having fire drills or evacuation drills to preserving the company’s brand image by handling disruptions professionally and promptly.
Let’s take this example of an online job portal that was faced with the Movement Control Order (MCO) during the early stages of the CoVID-19 attack in Malaysia. The management immediately sprung into action, making sure all the employees are equipped with the right tools and guidance to move their work space into their homes. The recovery plan was swiftly taken into action and it was business as usual even though they were no longer in the office the next day. This helps to inspire confidence not only from their customers, but from their employees as well.
Money is the fuel to every business. It is the blood that keeps the heart of the business pumping. Because of this, it is very important to have financial plans. In usual circumstances, companies will plan their finances according to the foreseeable future. However, what happens when a crisis such as this pandemic hits your organization? It’s time to adapt. Time to understand the situation, where your company stands, financially speaking, and start drawing up new plans from there.
When a pandemic hits, it will most likely interfere with all the plans your Finance team has originally drafted. When this sort of crisis happens, you will definitely want to assemble the team as soon as possible to discuss and communicate any changes in the company’s direction.
People always comes first. Your organization has people that will look to you for guidance when disasters such as this hits. It’s imperative that you draw up a plan, operationally and financially, to instill confidence in your employees. This is especially important if you have a large number of employees that will deal with customers and/or vendors regularly. They will be the voice of the company and you would not want to send a wrong message of insecurity to your customers or anyone in your supply chain.
Accessibility & Availability of Information Technology.
New technology is being studied and developed everyday. The point of constantly improving or evolving technology is so that it can help us work more effectively and efficiently. One question that we should always ask ourselves is, “Are my teams equipped with the best and the right tools for them to be more efficient and productive?”.
Let’s say you have already passed that stage – you have great equipment and your teams are functioning optimally. Next is to ask, “If a disaster strikes and the office space is no longer usable for the time being, can my business run as usual?”. Every businessman wants to ensure their business is invincible but are they investing enough to make this happen?
Digitize your company. In this era, it’s time to evolve with the times and bring your organization online. From cloud servers that help to store necessary information and documents needed for your Human Resources & Finance teams, to applications that help you track and manage your sales force and ensure they are on the right track to achieving your corporate goals. There are a number of software and applications that can help to digitize every day tasks. There are also apps to help companies with outstanding debts. GoKudos is a good example of an application that can automate the debt collection process and reduce bad debts.
To sum this all up, it’s important to constantly be ready to adapt to changes, especially when it affects the people, the operations, and the finances in your organization. The Coronavirus pandemic has affected all kinds of businesses around the globe, some worse than others with the threat of bankruptcy and closure. Failing to plan is planning to fail, but always be flexible to adapt to changes around your business’ environment.