Designing a coronavirus crisis/contingency plan

Now more than ever, it is important for businesses to have a crisis/contingency plan in place to avoid going into panic mode or being in denial about your financial situation. A crisis or contingency plan is a great resource to have so that you can have a clear picture of your existing situation and allows you to take back control through actions you can take.

Written on March 31, 2020 by Xeinadin Group

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Crisis management team

So where should you start when creating a plan? The key to an effective contingency plan is to have a crisis management team to focus on the essential areas of your business.

Coronavirus can impact all areas of your business, so it is important that your crisis management team includes senior management, representing key customer-facing and internal administrative roles.

The team should include team members and representatives from HR, communications, security, compliance, and legal. Beyond this, team members and representatives from IT, finance, operations and supply chain will give you a strong team to develop the best contingency plan.

There needs to be cohesion throughout the team with every team member knowing who is doing what to ensure actions are carried out in the most effective manner.

Areas to focus your crisis/contingency plan on

Below are the key areas in business you will need to focus your plan on, you will need to assess the risk to each of these areas, how you plan to manage this area in the future and the immediate actions you can take to reduce the risk to this key area.

Cash

  • Do you have a potential cash issue?
  • Have you collected all your overdue debts?
  • Do you have an up to date cash flow forecast?

Work in progress

  • Is there any work that cannot be completed and invoiced for?
  • What alternative ways are there for you to complete the work?

Supply Chain

  • Have you got sufficient materials to complete your work?
  • Will your supply chain also be affected?
  • What alternative suppliers can you use?

Stock

  • Do you need to increase stock to tide you over?
  • Do you have stock that will deteriorate? If so, what can you do with this stock?

Customer loss

  • Who are your key customers?
  • What is the plan to survive the loss of key customers?

Physical security

  • Is the building going to be left empty for a period? Is it secure and safe from break-in and looting?

Data security

  • Have you got daily backups of data or have you check the security of your online providers?
  • Can your team access data securely if needed?

Key team

  • Who are your key team members?
  • How will you operate without them?
  • Can they work remotely for you?

Other team

  • Do you understand the skill base of each of your team? Can you employ them in different roles if necessary? Is this recorded anywhere?
  • What are the policies for enforced isolation?
  • What are the holiday policies?

Home working

  • Is home working viable?
  • Has it been tested for each team member?
  • Does their environment comply with Health and Safety regulations?
  • How flexible are you willing to be over working hours?

Hygiene

  • Are you doing everything you reasonably can to prevent spreading viruses (COVID19)?

Total meltdown

  • What is the plan if the business has to close?
  • How will you look after yourself?

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