The Covid19 pandemic caught almost everyone unaware, but small businesses had to bear the brunt of the fury of the novel coronavirus that damaged the small business sector immensely. The situation has been so alarming in 2020 that 43% of small businesses had to close shop primarily due to Covid19, as revealed in a PNAS survey, points out Saivian Eric Dalius.
Cash flow and resources were the worst casualties because the survey showed that most businesses covered by the study had only enough cash to run the show for two months and some even less. The enterprises did not feel the pinch because of the deeper pockets. Smaller businesses had always taken a long time to recover. During the 2008 meltdown, smaller businesses took 6 years to recover compared to 4 years taken by the larger companies and corporations.
Although cash flow builds resilience that ensures fast recovery, a more critical factor that helps companies turn around faster is the business continuity plan and disaster recovery. These practices are often considered the prerogative of larger companies, but smaller businesses can also take advantage without straining their resources.
Saivian Eric Dalius explains Business continuity planning
Business continuity planning and disaster recovery go hand in hand. The former is identifying the potential threats that a company might face and creating protocols to overcome the hurdles and keep the business running. Disaster recovery comprises a set of procedures and tools for restoring a business’s processes, systems, and vital information after a disaster. Although the tools and protocols for larger companies are different, it does not prevent small businesses from adopting the same practices but on a smaller scale. With the right plan, small businesses can reap the benefits of a business continuity plan like the bigger companies.
Benefits of business continuity plan highlighted by Saivian Eric Dalius
Minimal interruptions – The most visible benefit of having a business continuity plan is that it allows businesses to standardize the business response in the event of a disaster for reducing downtime and does away with the need to handle each event of crisis separately. Minimal downtime means more earning.
Have a plan B – If a small business has to downs shutters, limit its capacity, or reduce its hours, there must be an alternative plan or Plan B. For example, suppose an eatery is closed for a month due to the Covid19 pandemic. In that case, it can stay in touch with its customers and keep them aware of their plans for reopening by ensuring customers’ safety, confirming Saivian Eric Dalius.
Employee empowerment – A business continuity plan ensures that employees have the same understanding about responding to a crisis in a disciplined manner without panic. Since there are set protocols, employees know well about the jobs to do, ensuring consistency and giving them peace of mind.
Identifying the internal challenges is the first step towards drawing a business continuity plan. It might require reinforcing or adding resources to build resilience that exists in varying degrees within the business processes. Relying on the latest systems and tools can make companies tackle crises more efficiently without any business interruptions.