Many businesses have been hit hard by the events of 2020/21, but perhaps they shouldn’t have been surprised. According to analysts writing for CNBC, the average business will experience major disruption every 3.7 years on average. That can be because of external events like the pandemic or the 2008 financial crash, or from personal issues like burn out or family troubles. Either way, it’s important that businesses put time and effort into resilience and continuity planning to ride out the eventual storm.
A key tenet of any resilience plan is insurance. Every area of your business must have some form of cover to ensure cash flow is secured in times of disruption. Key areas include general liability insurance and professional liability insurance. If you’re taking on staff, Cerity Insurance highlights the key importance of worker’s comp in ensuring that you are able to cover yourself if there are issues with cash flow. The importance of insurance cannot be underestimated – USA Today notes the difficulties many businesses have encountered with obtaining insurance payouts, but even in those instances, there are avenues of legal redress.
Secondary to your resilience plans should be process mapping. Many small businesses come around as part of a passion project where most of the relevant information is held inside the head of the owner. Getting this out into documentation that anybody can follow is crucial in case the owner of the business has any sort of layoff. What’s more, as Forbes outlines, it can help contribute to better quality work and continuous improvement of processes.
Often, the most important step is within your own business practices and ethos. The Guardian outlines how Australian small businesses were key to the pandemic recovery; 59.2% said they were excited about the future due to the new processes they built during the pandemic. In the good times, when you are able to fully operate your business and innovate, take the opportunity of external challenges to try to change how you work. Bringing in new processes can help to reform your business for the better, meet challenges of the new normal, and ultimately improve your profile.
The next big event could be around the corner – there’s no way of knowing for sure. The only thing businesses can do is invest in resilience. Ensure that you can survive, and flourish, through any adverse conditions.