Cashflow and business continuity for COVID-19 Crisis

It's hard to imagine any organisation who has a business continuity plan for COVID-19. But you need to immediately take time out to consider the activities and actions you can take to manage cashflow, keep things going and get through this.

 

The Government Announced Emergency Measures to Support Businesses - here are the links to what's relevant

Supporting you directly in a way that Government has never been done before, in addition to the package we have already set out for business.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson made a statement on coronavirus: 20th March 2020

Government measures to ease cashflow on businesses

We'll continue to update the information on these pages, plus share any additional info as it becomes available

 

How to start business continuity planning for COVID-19 Crisis

Start by mapping what you can know about this situation and calmly examining the business impact the Coronavirus (COVID-19) may have on:

 

  • You – What happens if you need to self-isolate or become ill?  

 

  • Your teams – Who are the critical staff, can they be kept apart, how can you keep them informed?

 

  • Operations – What could you possibly do to scale back or scale up?

 

  • Customers – What do they need; assurance, flexibility, continuity and how can you provide it?

 

  • Suppliers – Who are your critical suppliers, what are the threats, and how can you mitigate them?

 

It’s important to tackle each in turn and write this information down, because you’ll need to share it. Then think about the worse case scenario, the best case scenario and what’s most likely to happen. Every business is unique, but there are common areas, issues and actions most businesses will need to take in one shape or another. We've listed some risks below to help you stimulate your thinking on the actions you need to consider.

 

COVID-19: Plan for the worst, hope for the best – to be better prepared

What actions can you possibly take to help mitigate the impact COVID-19 will have on your critical business functions, products and services?

 

COVID-19 – Keeping Your Key Customers, Suppliers and Other Stakeholders informed

You need to communicate what your business changes are as a result of the COVID-19 Crisis. This guide has been developed to provide you with the key elements you need to consider. Feel free to copy and paste, but you need to make this yours. Which means tailoring the bullets to your working processes and adapted operations.

 

COVID-19 – Employee Risks

How can you develop a functional Business Continuity solution for workers who are or may be quarantined?

  • Ensure you have up-to-date emergency contact details for all your employees
  • Identify and document key tasks that are critical to your business and details of staff with key skills and knowledge
  • Consider cross training for key roles/functions
  • Consider remote working possibilities
  • Analyse key roles that require on-site access, plan a backup plan in case of their absence
  • Arrange a method of assigning and distributing employees at various levels of operational reduction
  • Set up access for employee mobility (division of shifts, transport, who can substitute for who? Etc.)
  • Communicate regularly with employees to update them on the situation, any new internal policies and ways of working
  • Consider the effects that self-isolation may have on employee’s wellbeing and signpost to relevant guidance, internal wellbeing networks or your employee assistance programme
  • Design measures to help employees’ with management of stress and stressful situations

 

Your business’ options and your employees’ rights

You will need to ensure that you understand the terms and conditions of employee contracts

 

Your employees’ wellbeing

Looking after employees’ health and safety and developing flexible resourcing plans are one thing, but in these challenging times, how do you check on your teams wellbeing and ensure they’re okay?

 

COVID-19 – Business and Operational Risks

  • You need to map single points of failure within the organisation (processes, employees, technologies) and draft countermeasures.
  • Establish emergency measures and organisational instructions in order to ensure continuity of operations according to the level of risk
  • Set up reaction plans (procedures, allocation of employees, tools and other resources)

 

Prepare for issues in the supply chain
  • Create a contact list of current and alternative suppliers and diversify suppliers where possible
  • Contact your suppliers to ask what they have in place in terms of emergency/business continuity plans with regards to coronavirus

 

Premises
  • Have you reviewed your cleaning regime to reduce the likelihood of the virus spreading?
  • Does your workplace provide handwashing facilities and are you promoting the need for effective handwashing and respiratory hygiene?
  • In the event of quarantine, have you ensured that your facilities are safe, secure, and clean?

 

Cusomer and suppliers
  • Create a contact list of key customers and communicate with them what action you are taking

 

Cashflow

Cash and headroom will quickly become critical if operations and output are impacted, while staff and establishment outgoings remain fixed

 

COVID-19 – Check security and monitoring of applications for remote access technology, data and cyber risks

You need to check the readiness of infrastructure and other services for the higher load, if your employees can work remotely.

  • Does your technology support remote working and have you tested it?
  • Test applications for remote access (VPN etc.) + patches, hardening
  • Use passwords to protect data
  • Protect against viruses and malware

 

People and policies
  • Do you have clear employee guidelines for remote working and use of personal devices?
  • Do you have a list of employee access and privileges for all your IT systems?
  • Ensure that employees working remotely are aware of the importance of cyber security
  • Perform Awareness campaign for specific cases of social engineering attacks in communication related to crisis

 

Suppliers and IT support
  • Do you know if your IT system providers have business continuity procedures in place?
  • Ensure devices are secure and software is up to date
  • Can your products and services be delivered digitally?

 

COVID-19 – Communication Risks

You need to set up a mechanism of communication with employees (positive), partners, suppliers, authorities, and the public. This maybe via your website, social media, or direct contact via email or phone.

Create contact lists and cascade plan for:

  • All staff and their emergency contacts
  • Key customers and suppliers
  • Insurer – claims manager
  • Bank – relationship manager
  • IT and cyber security support
  • Internet, Electricity, gas and water (24-hour emergency)

Be prepared to use social media to communicate with stakeholders about your business disruption

 

Examine your businesses ecosystem and to identify where the vulnerabilities are

Critical activities upstream (i.e. what businesses and decisions drive your sales, could impact on your supply chain, etc) and downstream (Who needs what you do? How are they effected?) What alternative service delivery options should be explored and could current staff possibly be redeployed?

Many business offerings seem untenable in this market and it’s unclear how long that will last. But let’s take control in the areas that we can.

 

COVID-19 Business Support Hub

These are challenging times for business and although our ethos is to only shout about good news, we've created COVID-19 Business Support Hub on the Love Business the website to support you with expert tips, advice and ideas from your fellow businesses to help you get through this COVID-19 crisis. 
 

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