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Worried about the effects of the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak on your business? Here’s where to start your business plan…

Article By James Mills | | Technology Consulting

The travel bans and self-isolation requests haven’t had the desired outcome for the majority of countries with the COVID-19 Coronavirus outbreak. 

With locally spread infections unrelated to the original outbreak in China in well over a hundred countries, it is no wonder that the World Health Organisation has declared a global pandemic. 

If you’re wondering what your business can do to minimise the disruptions that this will inevitably cause, it starts with preparing a business plan. 

COVID-19 Coronavirus outbreak business plan 

It has been over a decade since the last pandemic: the ‘swine flu’ H1N1 influenza pandemic in 2009 

Since then, a lot has changed. Not only has globalisation spread, with more and more people and countries inter-connected through international supply chains and a smorgasbord of cheap airline travel options; technology has also enabled many more options with the ‘work anywhere, anytime’ benefits of cloud computing.

Of course, this technology has also played a positive role in keeping most of us informed about this emerging threat, which is almost certain to disrupt our normal everyday lives in one way or another. 

As a business owner though, the true value of technology will be seen in ensuring that systems are in place that protect the livelihoods of you and your valued employees when travel bans and restrictions on personal interactions are in place. 

Some countries are already closing down schools and child care centres. With each passing day, it becomes less likely that your employees will be able to come to work and will need to be at home in order to look after children. 

This makes the need for a business plan critical. 

Most importantly, this requires a truly secure and seamless remote access solution – not just for the productivity and ongoing profitability of your business but also for your employees’ accrued leave balances. 

A remote access business plan for COVID-19 

Many relatively simple and cost-effective options exist when it comes to implementing a remote access business plan. 

If you’ve never had to think about it before, start considering how your business might carry on without the ability for team members to be physically in the office. 

The cost of implementing remote access for your team (and having the necessary policies in place to support it) pales in comparison to having to potentially close down or wind back your business until the COVID-19 Coronavirus outbreak blows over. 

Business owners in the retail sector will particularly struggle if they or their customers can’t get to their store. 

However, there are many online systems available these days that can work both as your point of sale system and as a decent online store (absolutely essential for any retail store). 

Having the ability to access your sales and payment systems from anywhere at any time will go a long way to minimising the potential impact of losing access to your bricks and mortar storefront. 

The manufacturing industry has always been one to rapidly embrace automation and technological advancements. This crisis may be a strong motivator for local manufacturing businesses that haven’t yet looked at alternatives for their production lines to do so. 

This could involve more automation to reduce the reliance on employees, moving completely towards 3D printing of products, and setting up the necessary workflows to ensure that this entire process can happen seamlessly and with a minimum of human supervision or input. 

In short, the COVID-19 Coronavirus outbreak is likely to affect almost every business in Australia. 

If you haven’t yet taken the time to consider how the current crisis will affect you, your business, and your employees, I urge you to speak with our Altitude Innovations team

We’ll help ensure that you enable the right technology to support you through whatever challenges this crisis may bring for your business.