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If the coronavirus situation taught owners anything, it is the importance of having a plan for when things happen unexpectedly.
Many of us are facing challenges we never imagined. But that’s not a reason to throw up your hands and insist you can never be prepared. It should give you the resolve to prepare as much possible.
This article is not a business recovery plan. It’s a way to get you thinking about critical elements of your business, how much you depend on each for your success, and how much attention and protection they require. So, tackle it as best you can with the seriousness that it deserves. Don’t ignore the whole exercise because you think it’s too daunting. Start today.
Business operations: Do you have a document that lays out how your business operates? Does it include the main functions that allow you to serve your customers? Does it list your competitive advantages and keys to your business’s success? Review this document and, if necessary, revise it to reflect your position today and your plans for the future.
Essential business and dependencies: Do you have a document that explains how your main functions rely on other, less-obvious requirements of running your business or those that you take for granted?
Location: How important is your business’s location? If you had to move, could you relocate with minimal negative impacts on continuity and customer retention?
People: How critical are the owners and current employees to the success of your business? Do you consider any to be so important as to be irreplaceable? if so, should you get someone else involved who could back up those critical people?
Technology usage: How much do you rely on technology for sharing and storing information about your business? Think about sales, inventory, payroll, bills, taxes. Can you access the information at any time and in multiple ways, but also restrict others’ access to the information?
Technology back-up: Do you always have at least two copies of your critical business information so that if one gets corrupted or lost you will be OK? Are those copies always in different locations to further protect them?
Cyber-security: Is your computer virus software up-to-date? Do employees who access your systems know how to identify and avoid phishing schemes and other scams that try to defraud businesses?
Customer information: Do you keep the private information about your customers secure? This includes names, addresses, emails, phone numbers, birthdays, Social Security numbers and credit card information.
Suppliers: Are you confident that your suppliers can provide the things you need over the next six months? Are they financially sound and likely to be in business for a while?
Procedures: Are all of your processes and procedures documented to a level of detail that helps you and your team run your business with consistent quality every day?
Training: Do you provide sufficient training to people that you hire so that mistakes are minimized and customers aren’t frustrated?
Savings: Do you have enough money saved to avoid shutting down if you temporarily lose your cash flow?
Insurance: Are you spreading the risks of running your business to other parties by buying adequate insurance to recover the costs of property losses and liability issues?
Recovery time: If you had to close your business today, how long would you be able to survive? Layout different scenarios and timeframes, such as having no income for one month, or 50% of income for six months. Apply what you have learned over the last two months.
This is a lot to think about, and what you learn may surprise you. If you discover a serious shortcoming that you could resolve if you had quick access to money, let SBG Funding know. Just fill out this online application.
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