Consulting services are concentrated primarily in the services industry focusing on industrial, commercial, and governmental products in the Washington, D.
Many businesses do not even consider a contingency plan or realize the option exists and is a sound practice. Creating a plan is most often overlooked or forgotten when times are good and business is booming.
Unfortunately, it does not take much to completely turn things around. One technical mishap that crashes a server, a missed delivery or a major project that goes unpaid can turn a business upside down in a hurry.
Contingency planning is the process of building a procedure to prepare for the absolute worst. When things go wrong, the plan is there to salvage your business and provide an opportunity to get things back on track again.
Most contingency situations are out of your control, and in many cases cannot be seen coming in advance. You can create contingency plans to respond to the failure of elements that are within your immediate control, but that effort is better served in solving those issues upfront to ensure the business is operating smoothly.
The uncontrollable, however, requires a plan to bail yourself out and pull the business back above water. Types of Contingency Planning They exact type of contingency plan you create should depend on the type of business and the location.
For example, a business located in a hurricane zone should add flood insurance and hurricane damage recovery to its plan. The plan itself is essentially a detailed sequence of steps and processes that will be used in worst-case scenarios.
You can make a plan for natural disasters, financial shortfalls and market crashes, temporary inflation of material or labor prices, and so on. The most basic plan will cover the financial and material aspects of the business.
An in-depth plan pinpoints areas of the business that are first in line for cuts, where employees can be eliminated and where costs can be drastically reduced to save expenses immediately while entering a rebuilding phase. What if the market crashes? What if there is a labor shortage?
What if the client does not pay? What if our system goes down unexpectedly? What if we get hacked? Ask yourself every possible "What if? Creating a contingency plan takes time and some deep thought.
The process should be limited to the owners and upper-level decision makers. Telling employees where you would eliminate positions in a worst-case scenario is simply bad leadership and will not inspire or build confidence.
How to Write a Contingency Plan The contingency plan works as a sequence of events based on priority. First, make a list of the most likely major events that could change the course of business for the worse.
Build out an individual response for each of these events. How will you prepare, and what actionable steps will you execute following the events?
In the case of a financial crisis, what contingency steps are the most important? What equitable assets can be sold or used as collateral against a temporary loan or line of credit?
Where can you cut some fat immediately without losing ground on processes?
Lay these things out in order of importance so you can have an action plan ready to use immediately after taking a big hit. Timing the Plan Timing is difficult in a contingency situation, but having a rough timeline in place helps drive actionable results.
You can set deadlines against contingency steps toward recovery. The most important part about timing is keeping the company solvent. If you sell X number of assets, cut a department and tap an emergency fund, how much will it help and for how long? You have to know what kind of time-frame you need to get back on your feet.
How much inventory must sell in that time-frame to recover? How much revenue will bring you to a break-even point.
In a worst-case scenario, buying the business a year of recovery time is helpful. More than a year is not often realistic, but in some cases you might need that long to survive and turn around through a period of bad economic growth.
You can also set time-frames alongside each contingency step. For example, the return on disaster insurance will buy you two months and new inventory. If that is not enough, tapping into savings will buy you another two months.In this section you can find: Useful information for contractors, consultants and engineers, civil rights programs, bid opportunities, transportation programs and planning, dealer information, motor carrier services, state fleet services, and information for employees and partners of NDDOT.
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