Categories: COVID19 Resources |
Keeping the Lights On
CTSBDC Business Advisor Shelly Koehler, in partnership with WORK_SPACE, a meeting and coworking space in the heart of downtown Manchester, started many small businesses on this virtual journey through CTSBDC’s 4-part series “Business Resilience: Keeping the Light On.”
The magnitude of business disruption related to the COVID-19 pandemic is historic and will serve to motivate all future business continuity planning.
But what about right now? How do you move your business from stalled, as is the case for many non-essential businesses, to recovery? And for essential businesses, how will you shift today’s modified operations to meet your business’s future needs?
Filled with real-time examples and worksheets designed to get you planning, these sessions will keep you focused on the challenging task of designing a systematic plan that anticipates potential disruptions to your business in this next phase and provides a recovery plan for your future reference.
While the series offers 4 interactive sessions, it is not too late to join in!
Past sessions can be viewed online:
Part I: Identify
Part II: Plan
Part III: Implement
In the first webinar, we explained you will need to:
- Assess current risks such as understanding the threats your business and employees face;
- Plan to minimize impact by determining the level of ongoing threat;
- Know the critical functions needed to run your business and plan for alternative resources;
- Recognize any threats to your suppliers and distributors impacting your ability to run your business
Knowing When to Pivot
Probably one of the most critical elements to consider when faced with disruption is the ability to pivot.
Shelly put it this way, “Like in basketball, you get your pivot foot placed to allow you to maneuver quickly. But if something changes, is that pivot foot in the right spot to recover?”
When the status quo is threatened by an external event such as this, or by the introduction of a new product or industry pattern, the quicker you are able to recognize the need to shift the more prepared you will be.
“Some of these changes you won’t know until things start to open,” added Shelly, “but it is important to brainstorm about them now so that you will have a plan on how to move forward. We have to stay flexible and not be attached to certain things.”
Consider these data points:
Based on a survey conducted by Travelers’, almost half of small businesses are operating without any type of business continuity plan, yet 95% of those businesses owners reported they were prepared.
According to the Small Business Administration, 25% of businesses do not reopen following a major event.
A business continuity plan not only identifies risk, it maps out how to minimize the impact of the risk and is critical to keeping your business in business after a major event or disruption.
Using the tools introduced in the first session and this session, you will be able to build out your own business continuity plan.
In this session you will prepare a(n):
- Business Impact Analysis that identifies and quantifies the impact of each risk identified in Session 1 on your business
- Emergency Response Plan that details preparatory actions and the accountable staff members
- Emergency Communications Plan that identifies all contacts impacted, the message they will receive and the communications methods to reach them
You will use each of these plans to help compile your business continuity plan. You should consider this plan as the bridge between short term operations following a disaster and long-term recovery.
Building upon the risks identified in our first session, and the plans created to minimize impact in our second session, this session is all about the implementation.
Currently faced with reopening, the need to implement is immediate for some. The tactics discussed in this session will help you to prepare your business under the current need to keep employees and customers safe.
- Training: Exposure Prevention
- Training: Hazard Elimination
- Engineering Controls
- Administrative Controls
- Preparation and Testing
With a May 20 reopen date set and state guidelines for some businesses issued, these are critical steps for you to follow. Check out the recording of part 3 for the specific action items related to each.
Register for the upcoming sessions:
Stay connected to all your business resources during this critical time. New information is being released regularly, make sure to reach out to your CTSBDC business advisor and check out our COVID-19 Business Resource Center.
Not a client, and looking for business guidance? Click here
No-cost. Advance registration required via the CTSBDC to access the Zoom link and password.
We recommend you bookmark several resources available to help you with this.
Sector Rules to reopen May 20 – includes actions to build into your training
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
CT Dept of Public Health
*Please be sure to check the town your business is located in for any additional reopening guidelines and Dept. of Public Health advisories