Problems are part of running a business. You can’t expect business operations to be smooth all the time, since there will be issues and unexpected things to face along the way. It is not always possible to prepare for all of them either, but that doesn’t mean you don’t need a set of contingency plans.
You can increase your chances of success and safeguard your business by having better emergency plans. There are safety measures to put in place as well. Here are the steps to take to better prepare your business for emergencies.
Recognize Risks and Develop Basic Plans
The first thing you need to do is identify the risks. You can’t expect to formulate emergency plans when you don’t know the kind of risks you’re facing along the way. In the service industry, for instance, third-party liabilities, bad service, and loss of staff or key personnel are identifiable risks you can anticipate.
Get together with key figures in your business and brainstorm the potential risks your business is facing on a constant basis. Manufacturing interruptions, distribution issues, customer complaints, and even natural disasters should be on your list. Don’t forget to include any specific risks you come across and don’t hesitate to go into detail.
For the identifiable risks, it is easy to develop basic plans. Natural disasters are often unavoidable, but you can protect your business through the use of insurance. The same can be said for third-party liabilities and workplace accidents. Interruptions to business operations may require more planning, but there is always a solution you can put in place.
Being prepared is key. Now that you have a set of basic plans on how to deal with emergencies, it is time to develop them further into procedures that anyone can follow. Translate the steps that need to be taken into actual procedures, with details about who to contact or how to handle the situation added to the formula.
Let’s say you anticipate issues in the warehouse due to a broken forklift. Search for a good forklift repair service in Toronto – or one near your business operation – and add the contact information to your emergency plan. It is even better if you can contact the service provider beforehand or if you already have a relationship with the company.
Ensure Business Continuity
Dealing with emergencies is only the first half of the process. Your emergency plans must also include steps to ensure business continuity. How must business files be restored in the event of a hardware failure? How can customer complaints be handled quickly?
With business continuity in mind, you can also put safety measures in place. Setting aside an emergency fund is a great start. Working with a reputable insurance company whose claim process is quick and efficient is also a good safety measure to have. Figure out ways to resume operations as quickly and smoothly as possible.
Combined, these elements will help to protect your business operations. Having contingency plans in place will help your business react to emergencies properly, even when you’re not directly involved with the situation or the recovery process.