A woman wearing a cloth face mask attaches a sign to the front of a glass door. The sign reads "COME IN" in small letters above the larger declaration "WE ARE RE-OPENING." At the bottom of the sign is a diagram of two people standing at a distance from each other. In the background, the woman's shop is filled with racks of clothing and shoes.
Having safeguards and emergency plans in place can help your business weather future emergencies and bounce back sooner from work-stopping crises. — Getty Images/FilippoBacci

Your business’s resiliency is measured by how quickly it bounces back after a disaster. For instance, some companies managed to thrive during the pandemic, while others had to close their doors entirely due to the economic strain. Let’s look at seven ways you can create a resilient business.

Plan for how you’ll respond to potential problems

Risk management is the first step in creating a resilient business. Once you’ve assessed all potential risks, you can begin building a plan for how you’ll respond to them. Here are a few examples:

  • Another pandemic like COVID-19: Do you have remote work procedures in place so your employees can continue working even if they have to be quarantined?
  • A cybersecurity incident: Are all your important files backed up in case they're wiped by a hacker?
  • A catastrophe like a flood or fire: Do you have disaster insurance to pay for repairs and replace any lost inventory?

Choose a risk management leader

No matter what kind of disaster recovery plan you put in place, you should have at least one person who is your company's designated risk management leader. This person is in charge of anticipating and coming up with plans for different crises.

This person can be the point of contact for your employees at work. In addition, they are responsible for ensuring emergency plans are regularly updated to account for things like new equipment and new government policies.

Diversify your cash flow

The most resilient businesses don't put all their eggs in one basket. Instead, they have multiple cash flow sources by offering different types of products and services.

While this can be a lot to ask of a new business, your company should strive to get multiple revenue streams as soon as possible. If you have a diversified cash flow, one source of revenue drying up won’t be the end of your business.

[Read more: How to Diversify Your Business Revenue Streams]

No matter what kind of disaster recovery plan you put in place, you should have at least one person who is your company's designated risk management leader.

Improve visibility in tracking inventory

Inventory is the largest source of capital for many businesses, but they don’t do a good job of tracking or managing it. So when disaster strikes, these companies are left scrambling and trying to figure out where important inventory is.

Your business needs to know how much inventory it has and where it’s located. Using enterprise planning resource (ERP) software can help create more transparency in your inventory.

[Read more: How to Estimate How Much Inventory You Need]

Know how to access economic relief resources

The government and other organizations provide economic relief packages for businesses impacted by environmental catastrophes like the pandemic. It’s a good idea to begin collecting relevant information about how and where to access these relief resources and saving this information in a file.

Make sure the file is both digital and physical, then store multiple copies in several locations. If disaster ever does strike, you’ll be able to draw on these resources quickly. This could help your business avoid laying off employees, closing your doors or worse.

Back up important files and documents

It’s a good idea to back up any important files or documents on the cloud and a physical hard drive. This way, you’ll always be able to recover essential business documents if they are compromised or stolen. Physical documents should also be copied and backed up multiple times.

Invest in cybersecurity

Investing in cybersecurity is necessary to deal with the rising threat of hackers. Even if you can’t hire a dedicated cybersecurity team, you can invest in antivirus software or cyber insurance.

You should also train your employees on the following best practices:

  • Not logging into work servers or equipment in public places.
  • Not sharing their work usernames and passwords with others.
  • Not leaving their ID badges or other sensitive information lying around.

[Read more: How to Choose Cyber Insurance]

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

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