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insights - 23.3.2020

Planning for chaos

How COVID-19 is accelerating our business readiness and continuity discussions

Unfortunately, it’s still a bit too cold out to ride my motorcycle, and I gave up owning a car for public transportation last year. Fortunately, this weekend one of my friends, who also happens to be one of our Senior Developers (and lives in my area), offered to take me to some local stores to get a few things to allow me to continue to socially distance myself from the general public.

Our quest for “supplies” exposed us to a few different merchants, and the levels of preparation and responses to COVID-19 are as varying as the varieties of potatoes available in the world: on one extreme you have ‘Preppers’ telling us, “I told you so” while on the other end of the spectrum some Spring breakers are still doing keg-stands on the beaches of Florida (well, not anymore, thankfully).

All around us individuals and businesses are trying to figure out how to cope with a situation that keeps changing and it’s evident that while governments are constantly reviewing the situation and updating their responses, many individuals and smaller businesses are struggling to find the appropriate path forward with so many unknowns.

At Craft&Crew and Soshal we’ve had nearly ten years of business without the need for these types of plans. Sure, we’ve had some tough times; anyone with a small business that’s growing can tell you there are plenty of struggles along the way, but there hasn’t been this level of threat in our ten-year history. And, like I’m sure is the case with many small to mid-sized businesses, having a plan for this type of eventuality just wasn’t a top priority as we worked on growing the business.

Now that has to change, and we’re taking quick action to ensure that we don’t merely survive, but thrive, both as a business and as an employer. Our goal is to give stability to our employees and empower our clients, vendors, contractors, and community to do the same.

This past week a colleague (and one of our partners) shared a slide deck about business readiness and continuity that he received from his TEC group. We’ve taken the bones of that structure and morphed it into a deck that our leadership team will be going through together in the next couple of weeks.

While it may not answer all of the questions that your business needs to answer, it’s a great starting point. The version that’s linked can be copied to your own Google Drive as a starting point for your team (or grab a PDF or PowerPoint version).

In times like this, a quick response is necessary, but it needs to be thought through so that it’s not a panicked response. There are lots of difficult questions that need to be answered, and actions that may need to be taken that are uncomfortable. But thinking through some of these tough possibilities will allow you to manage your response appropriately--with action and communication that’s thoughtful, measured, and meaningful.

We hope that this resource will help you during this challenging time. If you have any questions or would like to chat about this plan or how we’re responding to this crisis, feel free to contact us.

A special thank you to Pascal St-Jean, Co-Founder at STAND Advisors & TEC Canada Chair, for providing the framework we used to develop this presentation.