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Business Continuity Plan

Posted 19 Mar '20

Business Continuity Plan

As a business owner you are facing unprecedented times as the pandemic COVID-19 unfolds. As the situation continues to evolve, it is imperative that business owners have a business continuity plan in place to help your business survive.

We have set out some of the key areas that you should focus on immediately:

  • Cash flow – Preserve cash at all costs. If your cash flow is controlled, then so is your business. With your WDF team member, prepare a cash flow budget for the next 12 months. Also speak to us about the ATO tax relief options which may assist with your cash flow.
  • Financial analysis – Prepare financial forecasts which consider factors such as loss revenue, increase in staff entitlements and increase in expenses.
  • Risk Mitigation – Update your Asset Protection immediately. It is vital for you to have an up to date Will and Enduring Power of Attorney, as well as knowing where the original signed copies of these are located, let your loved ones know as well. If you don’t have an Enduring Power of Attorney then no-one else can make important business or financial decisions on your behalf if you become unwell. Review strategies to protect the equity in any assets held in your personal names. Review your general insurance policies for any Business Interruption Insurance inclusions.
  • Financial position -Communicate with us as your accountant if you are unsure and be aware of the benefits available to you through stimulus packages. Stay up to date with reference to government alerts and refer to the Fairwork website.
  • Banks and Funding – You should contact your bank immediately to suspend repayments of loans and also arrange additional lines of credit or extension on existing facilities if possible. Alternative funding sources should be considered. It is imperative that this is in place now for when or if you need it and before the banks become overwhelmed. Banks have already advised us that it is likely there will be delays in processing requests, so the key is to act early.
  • Management Team – Work through your Business Continuity Plan with your key team members and communicate any appropriate information throughout your business.
  • Employees – You need to openly discuss any strategies you need to implement to keep your business afloat with your employees e.g. reduced working hours and working from home arrangements. Employees will be anxious, so good leadership is key. Ensure that policies and procedures are up to date.
  • Technology and Cloud Systems – Review your current processes and how they could be moved online so that employees can continue to service your business. Review technology such as Zoom for virtual interactions for employees or customers. If you haven’t already, can any of your products or services be sold/delivered through online platforms.
  • Customers & Suppliers – Great communication is needed to so that customers retain their confidence in your business. Review customer engagement strategies, marketing and buying methods. Review your supply chain for potential interruptions and keep lines of communication open.
  • Mental Health – As it is such an evolving situation and an information overload, it is potentially one of the most stressful times ever for you and your employees. We are lucky that there are a range of organisations that can help us through this, we are more than happy to provide you with the links if you need assistance.

Most importantly ask for help if your need it, we are available to help assist with any of the above areas or others as needed.

Gillian Hayward

Associate




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