As the COVID-19 outbreak continues to evolve and shows no signs of disappearing any time soon, businesses have to adapt quickly. Most business owners have never experienced a crisis quite like that of COVID-19, so many are unsure of the best practices to implement to protect their company, employees, and customers.
However, COVID-19 isn’t the only crisis that poses a potential risk to your business. COVID-19 is just a stark reminder of how important business risk planning is because an unexpected crisis can happen at any time.
Here are 4 steps that could help you handle business interruptions and survive any crises.
Knowing where the threats to your business lie is a paramount step in risk management. Without knowing what risks you face, it is impossible to effectively handle them. Every business, and even each department within a single business, will face different issues when dealing with a crisis, so, taking a holistic approach to risk identification is usually the most effectual approach.
It is also important to understand what level of threat each risk poses and to take the appropriate business risk planning actions. The actions you take should correspond to how significantly a threat will impact your business operations.
Now you know what risks your business faces, tackle them head-on. Integrated business management systems are particularly beneficial for rolling out company-wide risk reduction plans, so this may be something to consider investing in if your company hasn’t already.
How you implement business risk planning will depend on the type of threats you have identified as most concerning. For example, if your business is most susceptible to a data breach, cybersecurity software is likely the most effective option for you. Whereas, if your offices are based in an area that is susceptible to natural disasters, considering the building’s structural supports may be more important.
Imminent threats will not materialize every day, so it can be easy to put the risks you have established to the back of your mind. Although, when threats do occur, you need to be ready to take swift action.
One of the most important steps to take when creating your risk management action plan is implementing data back-up and disaster recovery tools. These tools allow businesses to quickly resume their critical functions following an interruption and prevent loss of data.
Successful crisis management will only occur if your action plan is widely communicated throughout your organization. Therefore, you should also consider your internal and external communication processes.
No matter how well you plan for business interruptions and crises, there is always a risk that your action plan will not completely protect your company. In the unfortunate eventuality that a crisis like that of COVID-19 does interrupt your normal business operations and causes a revenue loss, investing in a business interruption insurance policy can help put your mind at rest.
As many businesses are now largely digitally operated, cyber insurance policies should also be considered.
Regardless of the threat or crisis that your company is dealing with, creating an effective risk management plan will help protect your business, hopefully allowing you to continue normal functions.