Anything can happen to anyone at any time. Plato said it more than 2,000 years ago, and we learned it all over again in 2020, amid pandemic shutdowns, social upheavals, economic collapse and even weather disasters.
We also saw which businesses survived, and even thrived. So, was it just the luck of the draw — their industry niche or physical location — or did they do something different or better than most others?
Well, some of each. But even those who got lucky had to be positioned to take advantage of the circumstances. We’ve put together a list of steps any business can take to be prepared for any future eventuality.
1. Analyze the risks.
Write down all the factors that might impact your business operations:
- The market for your products or services
- The competition
- Your company’s reputation
- Physical disruptions such as a fire or power outage
Under each factor, list the ways it will affect your business. For example, if the market skyrockets, you might need to find new sources of raw materials and hire a large number of new employees in a very short time frame. Damage to your brick-and-mortar might necessitate remote work arrangements.
2. Manage the damage.
Next, plan out the strategies you will deploy if and when these events become reality. Businesses who had such a plan already in place fared much better during pandemic-related transitions.
For example, grocery stores in the hurricane belt knew exactly what to do when faced with panic buying and runs on certain products (e.g. toilet paper). They simply implemented already established pre- and post-hurricane procedures, with already trained employees controlling store access, limiting the number of hot items per customer, moving those items to the front where they could be monitored, etc.
3. Mitigate the risks.
Also look at ways to minimize the damages your business might incur. For example, an IT-centric company would want to protect its servers with offsite backups. Other protections for a physical worksite might include a generator and security guards.
Insurance is, of course, a necessity. Think beyond basic coverage for the building and its contents. Business interruption, bad debt, public liability and professional indemnity insurance could save your business some day.
Lastly, to ride the waves of market fluctuations or company growth, consider third-party infrastructures which can help you predict and prepare while shouldering some or all of the risk. One such possibility is to utilize RPO (recruitment process outsourcing) for acquiring talent when the need is beyond your own HR department’s capability.
Integrity Staffing’s RPO services cover every step from process design to candidate screening to onboarding, in a seamless flow that fully integrates people, technology and culture. All marketing is done under the client’s own company brand, so that the experience is seamless for candidates and client teams alike.