One of the key service offerings of EBS is consultancy / coaching, management and audits of a Business Continuity Management System complaint to ISO22301:2012.
We are aware that the 2019 version of this standard was released in October 2019, but no external certification body is ready yet to certify you.
But what is Business Continuity?
Well, put simply it is a series of steps a business can take to identify, assess and manage any risks it may have that could make trading difficult in the event of an incident. Usually this means issues with People, Premises, Processes, Products/Services or IT.
I think we can add ‘Global Pandemic’ to that list, don’t you?
The challenge to businesses, and governments is that we are in unprecedented times. Historically we may have planned for the loss of key employees (People), a fire or similar to prevent use of our premises, a break down in working processes or practices, a loss of a key product or service or the recall of one of our own products. We will all have suffered the loss of some form of IT in the past – usually down to user error, known as PICNIC (Problem In Chair, Not In Computer) here at EBS.
However, none of us have been in a pandemic before where we can’t engage with our people, can’t get to the office, have significant interruptions in the supply or purchasing chain and are learning new IT systems like video-conferencing software. Equally the uncertainty for many organisations is financial – namely cash-flow. How can we financially get through the next few months?
My father was an accountant and would often say ‘Turnover is Vanity, Profit is Sanity, Cashflow is king’ and also ‘if your OUTGO, exceeds you INCOME, then you UPKEEP will be your DOWNFALL’.
Wise words indeed. And what we all need to be doing now.
How can you reduce your expenditure whilst maximising your income?
In the UK we can reduce costs by furloughing (temporarily grant a leave of absence) employees who will get 80% of their salary. The same applies to self employed workers. However, some of these payments may not be actually paid until June, leaving us up to three month’s worth of cash-flow to cover, albeit at lower rates.
Possible ways to increase income is to apply of any government or local authority grant you may be eligible to. I won’t go into any more details as there are lots of other websites available with up to date information and my words may well be out of date by the time you read this.
What else can you do to reduce costs – well perhaps speak to any financing companies you pay to – such as loans, overdrafts, leases etc and request a payment holiday, or deferred payment. All high street banks ‘SHOULD’ be accommodating so lets see.
To make more income, are there any ways that you can digitise or streamline your product or service. Can you diversify into ‘critical’ market sectors? A business contact of mine who runs a distillery is rushed off his feet producing NHS approved hand sanitisers.
This pandemic WILL end, and when it does, please be aware of future opportunities and position yourself to excelling once we are out and about again.
Until them, take care, wash your hands, stay safe and stay at home.