We've all fallen in to the trap of waiting for the "perfect" time to do something. From things as minor as when to get gas while running errands and when to text a friend, to things as big as when to get married and when to have kids. But every now and then, life offers up the perfect opportunity at the perfect time for something important you need to do. Now is that time when it comes to your business and its crisis preparedness.
Why is this the perfect time to update or create your Business Continuity Plan? Let's look at the 3 main reasons:
We're in a much better place in regards to COVID-19, and improving every week. Why?
We're better at helping those with serious symptoms, as shown by the flat hospitalization and death rates across the country, even with the uptick in case counts as testing has become widespread and easily available.
States, counties, and cities are significantly reducing the use of lockdowns as a way to combat COVID-19, helping people and businesses get back to being able to make a living and do the things they love that make life worth living.
As a society we're better overall at individually taking the basic precautions that help reduce individual risk from COVID-19, such as voluntary mask wearing and basic physical distancing and sanitation practices.
Business sanitation processes have improved by leaps and bounds, ensuring safer customer experiences when shopping, eating, and otherwise patronizing local businesses.
In case you haven't heard, there's an election coming up in a couple weeks. (Heavy sarcasm here, please don't send me nasty emails).
While the political ads will keep running hot and heavy, and social media will be abuzz with why you should vote one way or another, the fact of the matter is very few people are still trying to decide who they're going to vote for. So now is a great time to refocus your energy closer to home, where you can prepare your business for post-election time, as there are bound to be surprises and effects from the election that will impact your business.
In addition, because of the attention focused on the election, now is the perfect time to review your horizon scanning process. Are you able to glean information pertinent to your business beyond the daily news cycle? Do you have a wide range of resources to draw from for information that can directly impact you and your business? Take this time to review your sources of information, and take note of how wide the scope of coverage is that you review.
It has been nearly 60 years since we've had this level of awareness and dialogue in our society about race and injustice. Despite the emphasis on the extremism pushed by the news, within our day-to-day lives and interactions, people are more willing than I've ever seen in my lifetime to actually have meaningful discussions about equality and what it means. How can you build on this willingness for meaningful discussion for your business preparedness?
By incorporating this dialogue into your Business Continuity Planning and the actions you need to take in the time of crisis. Be open with your employees and clients/customers on how your business needs and their personal needs can work together to ensure that your business thrives during a crisis and keeps all stakeholders in a positive place.
Having open dialogue with your employees and clients/customers now ensures that the help you need in a crisis is there for you. Making sure these key stakeholders are involved now means they'll have a much better grasp of what is needed in the event of a crisis, shortening the duration and impact of that crisis.
So here's your homework
Get out your Business Continuity Plan and make a list of all of the lessons learned from this year. 2020 has provided more opportunities and scenarios to exercise your plan than we could've imagined back in January.
Take this quiet-ish time for the next two weeks, and update your plan with the lessons learned you listed out. Just by taking those simple steps, you'll be ahead of your competition to wrap up 2020, and to kick off 2021 more prepared than you've ever been, and ready to grow your business beyond what you though possible!