Preparing For The Next Pandemic: What Your Business Can Do

It may seem negative to think about the next pandemic when the current one is still not over. But entrepreneurs need to look to the future. Your business survived the current situation; but it might not be as lucky the next time. Right now, the current trend in the business world is to have it ready for a pandemic or something similar. This involves several interesting changes.

Having Early Warning

One of the first things that many businesses will be doing is a better job of seeing the signs. A lot of businesses were blindsided by the sudden onslaught of the pandemic. While there were early signs on the news, not many were paying attention. That will change as many companies want some early warning next time. Experts all over the world are coming up with ways to scan the news so that the next crisis can be identified before it affects the market. For example, researchers have come up with the Uncertainty Perception Indicator to gauge how serious a potential crisis can be and should a business respond to it.

Getting The Right Insurance

Another part of preparation is having the right business insurance for any upcoming emergencies. Being smart about it can potentially save your business a lot of money. For example, the Wimbledon tennis tournament bought an epidemic plan back in 2003, right after the 2003 SARS outbreak. They have been paying million every year since then. But it all paid off in 2020 when the tournament was canceled. The organizers received a payout of more than $142 million. Since they only paid $32 million in premiums for 17 years, that is a good return on investment. Do something similar for your business to ensure that you come out ahead.

Emergency Plans In Place

You should also start formulating possible plans for when a pandemic happens. One of the problems that businesses faced dearly in the pandemic was that they did not know what to do. With a clear idea of what actions to take, your operations can change quickly and shift to meet the challenge. Meet with your team to formulate what you could have done better when responding to the pandemic.

Sufficient Compensation For Employees

A big issue that you have to consider is how you can properly compensate your employees. A lot of companies had a hard time holding on to their people. You can expect a lot of employees looking for a way to protect themselves from the next pandemic. This can range from additional benefits to considering work-from-home. Discuss with your employees what is a fair set up to retain their expertise and labor.

Preparation For Delays And Alternatives

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One of the major shocks of the pandemic was how it disrupted the supply chain. A lot of businesses nowadays have a complicated network of suppliers. Once one went down, a lot of them followed. This resulted in many businesses facing shortages in essential supplies. Many of them were not ready for the delays. Preparing for the next pandemic will require your company to have options in place for any breakdown in the supply chain. For example, your business might stockpile supplies that will last you a few weeks instead of the usual days. While this is not always feasible, it can work for businesses that don’t deal in perishable goods. Another choice would be to have alternatives in place. Having emergency suppliers can allow you to turn to them when necessary.

Get It In Writing

A big issue from production delays was a lot of companies ended up facing penalties for late delivery. That was devastating for a lot of companies. Broken contracts and fees can ruin a business if you are not careful. Post-pandemic contracts will likely have clauses that allow for delays but only in the case of massive disasters like pandemics. Some businesses already had that in writing but will be following that example soon. Besides the delays, contracts can also cover liabilities that you might face caused by the pandemic. Work with a lawyer to write up contracts that protect your business in the long run.

Not all businesses will be able to implement these changes. Some might not even need it, depending on their industry. But it is good to know what other businesses are doing, and they might even spark an idea of what you can do for your own business. The biggest mistake a business person can make right now is to assume that their company is fine as it is. That may cause problems the next time that something devastating as a pandemic happens.

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