Pandemic Plans for Businesses: How Can My SMB Prepare? 

Getting Your Business through a pandemic

During flu season, it’s only natural to prioritize health. We tend to eat better, exercise more, and make an extra effort to remember our daily vitamins. But when sickness hits on a global scale, it’s not enough to focus on personal health: we also need to consider the health of our business, which is equally at risk.  

Pandemic is a scary word with potentially scary consequences. And creating pandemic plans for businesses requires several considerations. As more people get sick, travel will come to a halt, and consumer needs and demands will shift. It’s hard enough to ensure your own health, let alone that of your company. But if you don’t get ahead of these potential risks, you might find yourself unprepared to handle them. 

Here are 3 pandemic plans for businesses to ensure your company continues to thrive:  

Plan 1: Prepare for Productivity Hiccups 

Nowadays, most companies import materials from other countries. Usually, this isn’t an issue. But when a pandemic causes a slow down in global manufacturing centers, it might mean a delay in receiving needed goods to run your own business. Additionally, even if your company uses domestic parts, you should still prepare for a pause in delivery. Because employees are taking sick leave, the workforce will simply be smaller. And a smaller workforce means a slower turnaround time, which in turn means a halt in your own productivity.  

It’s important that your business understands how long it can last without these parts. Data analytics can help you better understand business patterns, thus revealing which parts are (and are not) essential. Depending on the results, you might want to invest in a means to produce these materials in-house, or you might want to change the companies involved in your supply chain. Furthermore, you’ll want to consider the state of your own staff and assets and whether they’re primed to handle increased productivity needs. HR, Finance, and IT requests will become harder to fulfill, so if some of these assets are in need of a reboot, prioritize that now, not later. 

Plan 2: Prepare for Unique IT Needs 

If you solely rely on an Internal IT team, a pandemic might spell trouble for your business. Should the members of that team fall sick, you’ll find yourself unequipped to handle your employees’ IT needs. Fortunately, an MSP is much larger than an internal team, and they’ll have the bandwidth to fill in the gaps. They can also help telecommuting employees with unique IT issues, such as web conferencing or remote data access.  

As the pandemic builds, many companies will encourage employees to work from home. And due to employee illnesses, even companies without this policy will face a greater remote workforce. In order to ensure your remote workforce remains productive, having the right AV tools is a must. For example, web conferencing tools will allow employees to attend meetings from their own homes. Cloud technology will let them obtain the documents they need. Of course, it’s important that you start securing these technologies as soon as possible. The sooner you have them, the sooner you can train your employees in how to (safely) use them.  

Plan 3: Prepare for a Change in Consumer Demand 

For some companies, a pandemic will mean a large decrease in consume demand. As an example, consumers will be less likely to go to restaurants or malls. In fact, they’ll probably avoid large gathering places as much as possible. However, for other businesses, a pandemic will equal an exponential increase in consumer need, e.g. the Clorox wipes shortage we’re currently all facing. Online and health supply businesses will especially prosper, and they’ll need to ensure they can keep up with demand.  

Data analytics can follow marketplace trends, which will help inform your business decisions. With this information, you’ll know whether it’s wise to release a new product, discount an offering, etc. Additionally, through data visualization, you’ll be able to track the successes and pitfalls of your new strategy. In this way, you can continuously adapt your decision, thus ensuring your business is adequately meeting the changes in consumer demand. 

Pandemics are frightening, but pandemic plans for businesses will help your company endure them. Expect changes in productivity, IT needs, and consumer demand, and take proactive measures against them. The sooner you start preparing, the more likely your business will come through the pandemic unscathed. Worrying about your own health is important enough; don’t let your business become another concern.  

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