Home » Articles » 10 Coronavirus Business Continuity Plan Considerations | Edmonton Business Consultant
10 Coronavirus Business Continuity Plan Considerations | Edmonton Business Consultant
A lot of people are making decisions under some sort of view that we know we can close for two to four weeks and somehow this is magically going to get better. But there seems to be no science that suggests that this is probably a six to nine-month event. You know this is something that is going to persist for the end of 2020. So the decisions that we make should be on the basis of not what we can do in two weeks. But what are we going to do for six to nine months
back and see the whole why with these two I can be you cause it’s not.
Hi, thanks for tuning in for another episode of ask Sperl CPA. This is a little bit of a different topic we have here today, Trevor. So, uh, you know, it’s right now a little bit more of a serious topic in the top 10, uh, considerations that you should, you know, uh, consider in your Edmonton Business Consultant continuity plan. Yes. So you know, what’s top of mind for everybody, Trevor? So what do you think the things that they should be? Questions they should be asking? Well, um, the, the first question people should be asking is understood what it means to be a boss. I understand what it means to be a boss. So what, what is the acronym Boston for? So a lot of people think of that boss, the Instagram, you’re driving nice cars with fancy things, but a boss is, you know what I mean? You look at it, the acronym is making big obstacles seem small boss.
Big obstacles seem small and now, you know, couldn’t be a better example of that than ever. So most of you know, most of the, you know, uh, business owners, their customers, their employees, they’re making decisions solely based on fear right now. And right now it’s the business owner’s job more now, more than ever to be you kind of the, the calm in the storm, if you will. So, um, you know, it’s going to be difficult because in school they’re going to teach you that there’s a right and wrong answer. You should have chosen B, not C. yeah, in business, that’s not how it works out at all. So in, in business, there are always more than one answer, you know, uh, they, you know, some of them are maybe more right than others, but ultimately the end of the day, you know, there, there’s pros and cons to all the solutions and there’s, there’s not going to be anyone that has any one right answer, but you’re going to have to act decisively.
You know, you have to avoid the deer in the headlights syndrome. I always tell people the deer and they had lights of deer waits for that should I go left, should I go right and they get smacked right in the middle of the highway, right Edmonton Business Consultant? Um, chances are left or right are better than nothing. Nothing is normally the worst decision. Um, and the, the, you’re expecting that government is going to give you clarity. A lot of people think that the government is going to give me clarity, but let’s, let’s just consider that for a second. They’re giving some specific rules on maybe a restaurant or a bar or something that, but the government will not be able to give you clarity for every single business of every single size in every single industry. I mean, there is not clarity in regular times on some of the rules and regulations.
The fact that, you know, people are waiting for some sort of, you know, uh, you know, utopian clarity at a time like this, it’s just not going to happen. You’re, you’re going to have to get the rules, interpret them on your own and you’re going to have to make decisions. And I like how you put it in, in our boot camps, that business is like running a pirate ship. Yes. Right. That you have to make the decisions and if you’re waiting for someone to come and rescue you, you’re sadly mistaken because there’s always, always tough decisions to make and business has got to keep running just like the pirate ship has to keep blender. Yeah. What’s the next point there? Um, I mean, governments, they’re not going to 100% say businesses. They’re making a lot of promises. But if you notice like a, most of the promises they’re making are vague.
You know, for example, like we’re going to extend EEI, but I mean right now the official literature is they’re going to give EEI who’s anybody who’s directed by the health authority to quarantine. Yet nobody can get directed that by the health authority to guarantee because they don’t have enough tests to test if you’re actually positive Edmonton Business Consultant. So you know, they’re just recommending self Elsa isolation from, you know, when we read the literature currently as of today, that doesn’t qualify for EEI yet. And will they extend it? Hopefully so. But right now the government is not going to save you. I mean, there’s never been a period in history where business owners have been completely satisfied by government. It’s unrealistic to expect that, you know, business owners are going to be completely happy with anything that the government does in this situation. Um, and the last minute, at least I am being a boss.
It’s been consensus decisions as Jim Collins puts it are often at odds with intelligent decisions. Yes. So if you’re expecting your staff, your customers, your suppliers, all to be on the same page with what you’ve implemented, it’s just not going to happen. Especially now with the amount of fear that’s out there. You’re going to have to make the decision, you are going to get some resistance on the decision, but if you don’t make any decision, it’s, chances are it’s going to be the worst one. So that’s consideration number one is you really have to understand now more than ever what it means to be a boss. 100%. So consideration number two, understanding the gravity of the medical situation. So the, the gravity is, you know, I’ve watched a lot of the press releases from various levels of government and being, you know, the individual provinces, prime minister Trudeau that the individual States, prime minister, tr, uh, President Trump, and there’s a, uh, a lot of vagueness in the responses that I see it, they’re either vague or sometimes they’re even misleading.
So, you know, I encourage people, like if you want a really good rundown of one of them, the succinct ones that I saw was the governor of New York gave a very rundown with actual numerical data of what you should be concerned with. And you know, the situation from jurisdiction to jurisdiction isn’t as different as people think. It’s just there’s a very simple issue here and he really breaks it down. You know, I always tell people if someone can explain it to simply, they really actually, they understand it, right? Yeah. When it’s complicated, chances are the person trying to explain it to you doesn’t know to understand it that much. But you know, first of all the number of positive cases is completely misleading because it’s driven by the number of tests available. So just because one location has more positive tests, it’s going to simply mean just because they have administered more tests in that location.
Um, you know, the science seems to agree on the fact that between 30 and 70% of our population are going to get this. So 30 to 70% of the population are going to get this. And although, you know, most of the instances won’t be serious, serious instances of this case are going to occur and those serious cases are going to require ICU beds and ventilators. Um, now I’m not an infectious disease expert by any stretch of the imagination, but I am a CPA and I like numbers. I like to think I’m somewhat good with numbers, at least as a, as a CPA. And I am going to, I’m going to break it down for you. And you know, they, they alluded to it, you know, the governor of New York, you know, he started breaking down the numbers. The way I think they should be breaking it down in every jurisdiction, um, is they have 20 million people in the state of New York.
Okay. And let’s say all of these, um, all of these measures that we’re taking, clothes, school closures, you know, business closures. Um, let’s say that they’re somewhat effective and at this point they’re not trying to, you know, eliminate the spread. They’re just trying to slow the spread. Sure. So they can prevent the hospital system being overwhelmed. Let’s say they’re somewhat effective and they can make it that only 5% of the population gets it at any given time. So we’re talking 20 million people, 5% at one at a given time, get it. Um, that would mean a million people will be sick at one time. Right. The overwhelming majority won’t be serious. Okay. Uh, the data that you can find online seems to suggest that 7%, uh, will be serious. But, um, you know, that could be vastly overstated because they only tested the series cases. Let’s just say 1% of the cases are serious.
So we’re talking, we moved from 1% of the 5%. So you’ve got a 20 million people, a million are sick, only 1% are serious. That’s 10,000 people that are serious. Right. Uh, and those serious cases, even them have a good chance of a, of positive outcome if they have an available ICU bed with a ventilator. So one problem is 1% of a million people is 10,000 is a lot of people to put that in perspective, this they didn’t, New York has 3000 ICU beds with ventilators, 80% are occupied at any given time, you know, for other illnesses, which don’t go away because coronavirus is here. So they really only have, you know, kind of a fluctuating capacity of about 600 beds. Um, so if you have 10,000 people who need a bed and only 600 available, um, you know, people are likely to die from this. Um, this is probably coming, a lot of the math seems to suggest that it’s not, if the health care system will be overwhelmed, it’s when the healthcare system will be overwhelmed.
And by how many thousands it will be overwhelmed by now. I hope I’m wrong. I hope they can build out the capacity. I hope the instances of a serious cases are far lawyer lower, but the math seems to, seems to suggest that it’s, it’s just a matter of time. Um, so we should be prepared for that. Um, that’s, you know, kind of understanding the medical gravity isn’t sticking your head in the sand. It is not great because that will lack the credibility of a business owner. We have to be, you know, aware of what the potentials are and govern ourselves accordingly. Yeah. So you have to hope for the best and prepare for the worst in this situation. Yes. Um, you know, ignoring it will make it go away, but if you are proactive and you move forward with a plan, which is what we’re trying to help prepare you with today, then at least you can start making those decisions for your business.
So number three, understanding a realistic timeline. So a lot of people are making decisions under some sort of view that we know we can close for two to four weeks and somehow this is magically going to get better. But there seems to be no science that suggests that this is probably a six to nine month event. You know, this is something that is going to persist for the end of 2020 so the decisions that we make should be on the basis of not what we can do in two weeks, but what are we going to do for six to nine months? Um, that’s the realistic time. This isn’t because anything, you know, we grew in for two to three weeks. It’s like make you feel better, but it’s probably not going to assist with the problem so much. Yeah. So think about what you can do to make those changes in your business.
Not for the short term, but till the end of 2020 and possibly beyond. It could be changing the way your business operates from here on out. We don’t know yet. I’m number four, understand that completely shutting down businesses is as unethical as not taking steps to control the virus. Yes. There’s some people out there who just say that, Hey, let’s, let’s just shut down everything. Let’s shut it down because that will save lives and they are right in the fact that that will save lives, but they don’t really realize the human costs of shutting down businesses, you know, uh, you know, it’s not just an economic costs of shutting down businesses. This isn’t just about, Hey, business owners want to stay, stay open because they’re concerned about their bank accounts. You know, let’s like break it down through very real terms here. Um, this is one that might, you know, hit close to home for, you know, being that we’re based in Alberta, but when the oil patch slowed down suicides, Alberta increase by 30%, that’s 150 extra deaths per year because of an economic slowdown.
That’s just one component of it, right? Um, this economic slowdown is going to make the oil downturn look like a walk in the park. It’s not even going to be close. Right. The effect of grinding businesses down completely for six to nine months. Um, like if you want to know what that looks like, grinding businesses down for six to nine months, start Googling Venezuela. Yeah. And start seeing the crime that appears, the instances of family breakdown. Um, it is a very, you know, uh, you know, it’s not a great picture at all and there’s, there’s two waves coming here. There’s one wave coming where it’s gonna hit the healthcare system and it’s likely to overwhelm the healthcare system. There’s a second way coming where the economic impact is going to bury some people. And you can think of these two title whites, one’s closer and the medical impact is closer.
10 Coronavirus Business Continuity Plan Considerations | Edmonton Business Consultant
The other one, the economic impact, which has a very real human cost is coming as well. So there, there is no perfect solutions here. We cannot be, you know, shamed into thinking that, you know, uh, operating a business is unethical because people will die because of both consequences. It’s it, it is really a matter of life and death. I mean, you look at the shortages on the shelves now, if we shut down businesses, those shores on the shelves will be permanent. Yeah. So we have to keep operating as business owners. You just have to find a new way of operating. Yes. It’s not about shutting everything down to try and prevent the spread of the virus. It’s about how do we keep moving forward in spite of the virus. That’s right. Yep. Um, are we on to number five now? Consider the physical location of your business and physical interactions within the business to implement social distancing.
So let’s look at the physical, you know, solution or the business. You know, me and Trevor here right now, maybe this is the last video that we can do like this. It’s six feet apart, right? It’s six feet apart. So think about what your waiting room looks like Edmonton Business Consultant. Think about how the tables and desks are arranged in your business. You know, what sort of keen could you continue to bring in what customers that it could you actually let in that you could actually maintain that, you know, 60, it’s likely going to be a reduced capacity, but it is still a meaningful capacity. Um, you know, that’s still going to work. So it’ll prevent businesses from shutting completely. I, and that really is the key here because the economic consequences of businesses shutting completely, it’s not going to be two to four weeks. This situation is not going to look different.
In fact, all likely to come to look far worse in two to four weeks and trying to get back. I’ll open and operating in two to four weeks now he’s going to be even far more difficult and you know, you just have to think about everything that’s going to happen. Imagine if you’re trying to negotiate a better term with your landlord and you have some revenue coming in. Maybe it’s 25% of the revenue he used to come in. Well, they might accept 25% of the rent, but why would they even consider you if the answer is zero Edmonton Business Consultant? Yeah. You know, if you’re, if these loans do happen, the banks do a more aggressive on lending. Are they going to lend to the business that’s been shuttered for three months or are they going to lend to the business that’s still operating, just struggling? So you know, the decisions you make today are going to be, you know, really extremely impactful.
Yep. Um, consideration number six, make layoffs sooner rather than later. Yeah. Uh, the biggest lever that most businesses can pull is layoffs of staff. Uh, you know, a lot of these choices, a lot of the staff are going to help you make these. So there’s a lot of people right now, they don’t really particularly interested in work. They’re scared. They want to just shut themselves in their house. You know, it’s, it’s, some of them, it’s just too much of a hassle with childcare. They prefer the layoff at this point. Um, so you, if you’re looking at that reduced demand, you should be looking at scaling down. And the first step is just having an honest discussion with your staff and say, Hey, do you, you know, we realize there’s a lot going on in the world today is, is this still the right fit for you?
You’re going to find that some of them actually want the layoff. Yeah. They really do want the pink slip at this time. You’re not hurting them. You know, it’s, it’s better than the alternative to them trying to get there. Um, and you know, ultimately you might have to make some tough decisions. They might not all be made for you, but it’s, it’s more you need to get your cash flow into a reasonable situation because if you don’t, by default, everyone loses their job. Yeah, exactly. You have to keep cash flow coming into the business. Um, no matter what’s going on. So number seven, implement remote working where possible. So, you know, I grew this, you know, before we bought this building and we moved into here and brought everybody in the house. You know, I grew the firm, uh, with remote workers and we learned a bit, you know, everyone talks about remote working and unfortunately I can tell everybody that’s not as good as everyone to hit into the office.
You can train people quicker. You know, I’ll take my team rowing in the same direction in the building, has any remote team any day of the week. But we did learn some things on how to maximize people working. Um, first and foremost, have multiple monitors set up at home. We’re talking two to three monitors, I would suggest three monitors and an extra monitor is only like 200 bucks. We’re talking to payback from that will be in the first week that you’re, you having a remote worker. So rather than just sitting there having a little tiny laptop screen at home and that’s all they have. Um, you want to use good screen-sharing software, not all screen sharing software. A lot of screen sharing software is meant for like one screen. TeamViewer is a good one where you can have all, you know, two or three screens open at any given time.
They got a pretty good free version and you know that you can upgrade to the pay version when you need to. Yeah. Other ones, uh, the zoom is good. Uh, and you can also use WhatsApp. They all are good solutions. You can do screen sharing as well as teleconferencing. Then you want to have a Google sheet. A lot of people think you can text an email, every little drip of instruction to your team. A, it’s extremely unproductive because people are getting interrupted all the time Edmonton Business Consultant. Be, your staff will lose their mind. There’s a lot of psychological evidence that suggests that the number of times that we’re interrupted today from our cell phone, you know, negatively correlates to our happiness in life. So think about you have a task list on use Google sheet because it’s an enormous spreadsheet that multiple people can update at one time and you’re continually adding to that and adjusting to that.
Um, that’s the way to do. It’s going to limit the stress of your remote workers and increase their productivity. And then, you know, we really learned that having a set time that the remote workers would have check-in from a manager to ask the questions and gave him that certainty. Yeah. Um, so have a set time. Don’t just say, I’ll call you sometime. It’s like at 9:00 AM every single day I will call this person at 10:00 AM every single day, I will call that person. And that’s how you really manage your remote workers. Um, yeah. All right. So number eight, silo your staff into fully functional independent teams. So you know, you want to try to, you know, after you reduced the overall staff level, you want to silo your staff into at least two independent, fully functional teams. Okay? So think about, you know, you have two teams that are never physically interacting with each other.
So these are people that can’t work remotely. They have to work on-site. Okay? If that’s the case, let’s have a fully functional team that comes in these two weeks. And then another fully functional team that comes in these two weeks. Think about, uh, a dental clinic. For example. We’ve got a dental clinic and they have two dentists. Those two dentists should not be interacting at this point. You know, dentists, one should come in for two weeks and dentists two should come for two weeks because everybody’s thinking about let’s close for two or three weeks. That’s not the realistic scenario here. The realistic scenario here is you’re going to have to have people go into, you know, self-isolation or, or forced quarantine for two weeks, dance multiple times in the next six to nine months. So the idea is if you have two independent teams that don’t interact, you always have one revenue-generating unit who’s available, you know, to keep going and maintaining that, that level of service.
Awesome. A number nine now’s the time to get creative folks. I’m going to get creative with your business. Get creative. I mean there’s, there’s the restaurants’ owners out there who’ve never done delivery, you know, the higher-end restaurants at the time. Now’s the time you got to do it now. Um, I don’t care if your food quality goes to eight from 10, it tastes better than bankruptcy. I guarantee you that. So, uh, if you’re a lawyer who’s never done the online meetings, start those Skype meetings. Now, um, you know, if you have a gym, is there an opportunity to do some online classes? Uh, can you do online fitness training and charge for that? Um, these are going to get key. There’s going to be creative ways that you continue to service your clients and now’s the time to get aggressive on those. So not, not in a month, not in a week.
Roll them out tomorrow. Yeah, you have to do it now. There’s no sense in waiting because the longer you wait, the more time has passed and the less opportunity you have to change things in, the more hysteria that’s going to happen in your business with your employees and so forth. So get on it today. Uh, number 10, this is the last and final tip that we have to help you guys with your business during this time. Communicate your plan to your customers. Yeah. Kinda like what we’re doing right now. Exactly. I mean, your customers are scared right now. You know, everything you ask them to do is scary just because the time period we’re living in is scary. So you have to be honest with people, you know what I mean? We’re not as suggested. People have their heads in the sand. We should be forthcoming.
And I wish our governments were a little more forthcoming in, you know, graphing the number of six people versus the number availability of ICU beds. Cause that’s really the number. It doesn’t really matter who’s sick. Uh, and it’s functioning fine. It’s the number of people who are going to need the ICU beds and how many ICU beds that you have, but how many news conferences have you watched lately where they’re telling you how many available ICU beds that we have when that’s really the that’s the overwhelming point. They just, they have this mysterious graph, flatten the curve, but they don’t have, there’s no number on that curve. And what does that mean? Right? Um, we, you know, we should, you know, as business owners, let’s gain that credibility. Let’s be honest with people. This is what’s going to happen. Uh, let’s tell them that hate shutting everything down is just as detrimental in terms of a human cost and a health cost as, you know, not engaging in reasonable, you know, social distancing, um, you know, producing capacities at places like this is meaningful.
Let’s communicate it. Tell people this is what I’m going to do. I’m going to space out all the chairs in my waiting room. Um, you know, we’re going to do online meetings instead of in-person meetings. Um, we have all of our staff are working, you know, in separate rooms or a minimum of six feet apart. We have less staff in the office of communicating what you’re doing, you know, within reason to, to minimize it. You can eliminate this risk. You cannot eliminate this risk. And even if the draconian, you know, uh, kind of protocols, you could, could, you know, eliminate that risk. You are going to get hit by another wave that ha doesn’t just have an economic cost. It’s going to have very real human costs. People will die either way. We have to find, you know, a way that, you know, uh, we can balance both of these really critical needs.
Yes, exactly. And, uh, you know, being broke, poverty kills more people than any disease does every single year. So in order to combat that, keep your business running, find new ways to operate, you might even find new customers or new ways that you can serve people in a different way that, um, will revolutionize your business and actually provide an increase you don’t know. So be resilient, be productive and get out there. And talk to your customers and find new ways of doing things in a better way. Right off. Thanks very much guys. I appreciate you guys watching this video.