Unfortunately, 25% of firms don’t bounce back after some type of disaster strikes them. If you don’t have a business recovery or continuity plan in place, then you need to consider creating one, and at the very least, educate yourself on the negative repercussions that could affect your firm if you’re unprepared:
Business Interruptions – Figure out which departments and/or teams that would be directly impacted by a disaster or health crisis. How would they manage or continue to stay productive during or after? What types of interruptions would they have to push through? How long would it take before your clients feel the impact of slowed productivity? Pandemics like COVID-19, can have a severe ripple effect on most or all functioning areas of a firm as you can see with the challenges sighted earlier. You’ll be faced with tackling multiple sick leaves, delayed projects, meetings, cases etc. Think about it, every minute/hour that your people aren’t working = downtime and money lost for your firm, that you probably won’t get back.
Financial – Most disasters will cause some extent of financial implications to your firm, and you’re likely to lose a lot more money if you’re completely blind-sided. The costs of interruptions can vary from hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars. Lost profits, lower market share, regulatory fine and penalties are all on the list for taking down a firm without a recovery/disaster plan.
Liability/Breach of contract – As you could imagine, one of the many snowball effects of lost productivity, is the inability to meet service deliveries to clients. The legal implications from a breach of service contract can put your firm on the line for missing deadlines and/or breaking agreements – adding yet another financial burden to the list of repercussions.
Reputational – This one doesn’t only apply to health pandemics, but also to any form of disaster. A firm’s reputation can be held accountable for mishandling a disastrous situation with regards to addressing it within a timely and/or strategic manner. It is important to act on behalf of everyone’s best interest and to approach all disastrous situations with professionalism and transparency. There have been instances where firms/businesses have made crude, insensitive or racially charged statements that have offended groups of people, and later received serious backlash to their reputation. You can sometimes bounce back from financial losses, interruptions, loss of productivity – however, recovering a severed reputation can sometimes take months or even years to salvage – in many ways, it can be considered one of the harder challenges to manage.
No firm is completely immune from any kind of disaster. However, developing, testing and having a functional plan for continuity will help to mitigate all these risks and help to get your firm back on track again. If you’re interested in learning more about Business Recovery and Disaster Planning, contact us at [email protected] or call 905-886-7896.