Your COVID-19 Small Business Risk Management Plan

How do you get to the other side of this pandemic and thrive as a business? There are specific steps a company can take to plan and secure a prosperous future.

It is a tumultuous time – globally, nationally, in our communities, and for your businesses.  COVID-19 has destabilized our economy and severely impacted the business sector.  Among the hardest hit are the millions of small businesses across the nation.   Responding to the COVID-19 pandemic and adapting your business has never been more complex or critical.  One big question that looms over every industry is, “how will we survive until we get through this crisis?” And, what will the business look like after the crisis? Here are some steps you should consider in developing a plan.

Survival – Establish a preparedness framework

  • Review your business model to fully understand the inputs and outputs to your success.  Engage your employees in this discovery process through interview calls. Lay out the description of your business and how it works.
    • Supply chain interaction
    • Operations process flow
      • How your business delivers its product or services
      • Status of any critical IT infrastructure required
    • Regulations
  • Identify critical stakeholders’ needs through experience, interviews, websites, surveys, and communicate your pandemic plans as they evolve.
    • Suppliers
    • Customers
    • Advisors
    • Community impact entities
  • Determine your run rate and how long you can survive. Utilize your financial resource, such as your bank or lender, to develop this view.
    • Cashflow/Liquidity
    • Working capital requirements to run
  • Seek out sources of relief (i.e., financial, security, alternative business model)
    • SBA stimulus package, EIDL, Local government programs
  • Understand the conditions and new rules required during this period by reaching out to the various state and local agencies associated with your business.
    • Government mandates


  • Start-up Plan
    • Health and Safety assessment- what are the new rules to engage in business
      • Customer protections
      • Employee requirements – Government, Union,
    • Internal assessment – what is the impact of the new normal on how the company operates?
      • Leadership
      • Adaptability and delivery agility
      • Customer preferences
  • Marketing/ Communication strategy development
    • Customer contact
  • Determine how business will be conducted going forward
    • How long will changes be necessary and which ones will become the new normal

Thrive – Sustainability and Growth

  • Business plan to the future
    • Assess the client market, demographics, and trends to determine who your old/new customers can be reached or retrained.
      • Consider customer reaction to new safety rules
    • Consider the state of the economy as predicted by outside sources
      • News
      • Community organizations
      • Government agencies and communications
      • Economist forecast
    • Evaluate new opportunities for growth
      • Products
      • Customers
      • Market areas
    • Develop a forecast for the next year, and beyond
      • Sales volume
      • Number of customers
      • Financial projections
    • Prioritize the way forward
      • Easiest to achieve ­– Most challenging (and why)
      • Can do alone – Need help
      • Clear direction – Uncertain circumstances