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Month: May 2020


A Guide to Conducting a Business Impact Analysis
A Guide to Conducting a Business Impact Analysis

Posted on May 28, 2020 | by | Posted in Uncategorized

Great businesses know how to weather rough storms and it’s through Business Impact Analysis (BIA) that they can prepare for unforeseen events. In essence, a BIA is a systematic process that outlines the impacts of disruption in business functions to establish sound recovery methods. Think of BIA as another arrow in your quiver in the quest of battling risks. No matter how smooth the business is operating, the risks are always on the horizon and it’s the well-prepared businesses that are able to mitigate them efficiently. This guide is intended to cover the basics of a Business Impact Analysis so that businesses can develop effective recovery strategies to use in the face of emergency situations.

Assumptions in BIA

In general, a Business Impact Analysis operates under two key assumptions:

  1.  A successful organisation depends on the continued operations of each of its critical business functions.
  2. Some business functions take precedence over others, and will likely require larger fund allocations when a possible disruption occurs.

For example, we can assume that the operation of a company’s production line depends on the functions of the Human Resources department. If the HR were to fail in the recruitment of workers, the production will decrease. The same thing applies to the financial department where production will suffer when they fail to purchase materials or unable to process salary payments.

The possible loss scenarios for each company will vary and this instance, conducting a risk assessment will help identify those scenarios. From there, the company can perform BIA to better manage such risks for improved recovery planning.

How to conduct BIA in 5 steps

Step 1: Establish the scope of your BIA

The first step in conducting a BIA is to map out your organisation’s critical business functions. If you operate a large company, it may not be necessary to include every function in your BIA. What you should do is identify which parts of your business are the most important and focus on those instead. We recommend keeping your scope as small and manageable as possible. For large organisations, this means keeping your review on the top 10 most significant units or departments.

After identifying the departments, you want to select the right people to interview. These individuals should be doing hands-on work and are likely to have the most knowledge about your company’s critical functions and vulnerabilities. From there, set up a timeline for finalising your BIA. This will keep everything on schedule and help you with the next two steps.

Step 2: Determining the value of the BIA

When conducting a BIA, it’s important that you and your organisation understands the need for business continuity planning. However, not all of your staff may understand the value of BIA specifically so after you’ve established the scope, make a detailed presentation to your management team. This helps everyone realise the amount of investment that goes into the BIA process that will stem from all the hard work and information gathering you and your team have put up.

Step 3: Preparing for the BIA interviews

The next step is to schedule the BIA interview according to the timeline you’ve set up. Allow for at least 2 hours to interview the individuals whom you’ve chosen to highlight your company’s most important functions. Ask them about the processes they handle and the potential impacts it can have on the business should a disruption occur.

Before interviewing, try gathering as much information as possible on the sector you’ll be reviewing like a general overview of the processes, the number of people who work in it, and so on. This streamlines the whole interview process and saves you plenty of time in completing the BIA.

Step 4: Host BIA meetings

Hosting a BIA meeting allows you to ask a series of questions from your management team that will help formulate your company’s recovery strategies should a critical function go down. To do this, you’ll need to ask the following questions:

  • What business functions are crucial to maintaining continuous operations?
  • What are the potential ramifications if these functions were to be disrupted?
  • How long can these functions be disrupted before the losses start to creep in?
  • Where do these business functions rank in terms of your business?

You want to recap all the answers to these questions with your management team to ensure all information is accurate.

Step 5: Preparing a report

The final step in a BIA is to review all of the data you’ve gathered and evaluate if all the critical functions were highlighted correctly. Compile all of the information into a single report and make sure to include the following:

  • Overview of the entire BIA process
  • Rankings of the most important business functions
  • Additional findings that are worth mentioning
  • Proposed recovery strategies should a business function be disrupted
  • Action plan to address top-priority business functions
  • Conclusion

Once the report is complete, host a final BIA meeting with your management team and review the entire BIA as a whole. Use this as an opportunity to raise questions and open up a recommendations board to ensure everyone is on the same boat. Having a general consensus is key to executing the proposed recovery strategies and mitigate potential risks in the future.

Conducting a Business Impact Analysis is incredibly useful for any company to ensure continuous operations. By following this guide, you’ll be able to create a systematic process that eliminates arbitrary decision making in times of business disruptions.

What You Need to Know About Cabinet Maker Insurance
What You Need to Know About Cabinet Maker Insurance

Posted on May 14, 2020 | by | Posted in Insurance

Having an eye for detail is important if you wish to create masterful woodwork. Along with proper skills and training, it takes years of experience to become a professional cabinet maker. But even the greatest cabinet-makers are prone to experiencing a few hiccups here and there and the risks that come from this type of work can spell disaster if not managed properly. From damaging a client’s property to having your tools nicked or stolen, a lot can go wrong when you’re in the cabinet-making industry.

This is where cabinet maker insurance comes into play. By obtaining the right type of insurance, you can protect yourself from financial losses that come from sudden mishaps or unfortunate events. This article will cover everything you need to know about cabinet maker insurance to help secure your business from financial hardships.

Why you need cabinet maker insurance

Being in the cabinet-making business is very challenging. You help customers select the right hardware, talk to suppliers in sourcing the best base materials, and even create custom cabinet designs on your own. Working as a cabinet maker can be very rewarding, but only if you have the right insurance in place. If you don’t have the right type of insurance, you can potentially face financial difficulties down the road.

For example, if a customer accidentally slips while inside your business premises or your sign gets damaged by a rough storm, you’ll have to reach for your pockets and pay for any expenses as a result (i.e. medical bills or repairs). But if you have the appropriate types and amounts of insurance, you don’t have to worry about paying for anything as the insurance will cover it for you. Here are several types of insurance that cabinet makers may need:

General liability insurance

General liability insurance protects cabinet makers from common pitfalls and hazards. Say a customer walks into the cabinet making area and they get injured accidentally. As a business owner, it is your legal responsibility to maintain a safe environment for your customers and if you fail in that responsibility, you can be held financially liable. General liability coverage safeguards you from such instances and absorbs any expenses or claims by customers who get injured while at the business site. Liability will also cover ant damage/ or injury caused at your clients premises

Worker’s compensation insurance

If you employ staff as cabinet makers, you are required to provide worker’s compensation insurance. This type of insurance covers any medical costs for employees who get injured on the job. Not only does it take off the financial burden of rehabilitation to your shoulders, but it also ensures that your employees receive proper, timely medical services to continue providing for their families. The coverage can also be arranged in a way that covers travelling employees on behalf of your business.

Business Insurance

A business insurance provides the same protection as general liability insurance, but with the added benefit of protecting your physical assets. 

Designed to cover repairs and/or replacements for property damage resulting in storms, floods, or other natural disasters. You can also configure this policy to safeguard you from financial losses brought about by theft or lost items. Business insurance is crucial to your business as any significant damage to buildings, structures, and property can cause business interruption and loss of profit. 

Motor Vehicle insurance

Having your business motor vehicle’s insured can protect both you, your  employees and the other parties involved in a accident – you can choose from comprehensive, third party fire and theft and third party only

How Foodservice Businesses Can Mitigate the Effects of the Coronavirus Pandemic
How Foodservice Businesses Can Mitigate the Effects of the Coronavirus Pandemic

Posted on May 05, 2020 | by | Posted in Insurance

With the coronavirus pandemic affecting the foodservice industry across the world, many Australian hospitality owners are facing unique challenges they’ve never seen before. Businesses owners in this industry are advised to monitor their last income statement to determine which areas felt the most impact. If the sales drop, how will that trickle down to the expenses? While labour and food costs can be adjusted, rent and insurance cannot.

Restaurant and cafe owners usually focus on pushing out food and beverages and what menu works best for their customers. But now is the time for owners to make crucial adjustments and become ‘numbers people’ in hopes of riding out the storm. Thankfully, this unprecedented downturn in business can be minimized by practising a few practical tips which we’ll discuss down below.

Approaching your staff

  • Before you let go of your staff, you have to establish a solid plan. Who will be the first to let go? And what will you owe them afterwards? Letting go of permanent staff members means there’s a possibility for redundancy payments. We suggest doing your own research to help manage your expectations when letting staff go.
  • Communicate with your staff in an open manner. With all of the attention-grabbing headlines today, being the bearer of bad news can be a tough pill to swallow. Despite this, your staff is expecting you to be fair before they get shown the door. Create an internal communication system like a WhatsApp or a Facebook chat group to discuss things openly with your staff.
  • Be prompt with the statements needed to give your staff the benefits that will help them support themselves without work. It’s important to have a good understanding of how this works as Newstart Allowance has been replaced with Jobseeker Payment as the main income support payment for individuals between ages 22 and pension age.
  • Not all staff have a clear understanding of the financial workings of the business. As a business owner, you owe them transparency by explaining to them your income statement. It won’t be pretty, but at least they get to view things from your perspective.
  • Insist on unwell staff to stay at home. Some staff may want to work while sick, but that is not okay given the current circumstances. Many will be casual which equates to no work, no pay.

Improving customer service

  • Take advantage of home delivery options whether it be food pickup thru your online ordering page or by using third-party systems (if the margins permit such costs). Adding a takeaway option is critical to keep your business afloat during this pandemic.
  • Consider upgrading your delivery platform. Customers are seeking ‘no contact’ payments like hygienic packaging and touch payments. Observe how big operators like McDonald’s make adjustments to their pickup and delivery space and try to emulate their practices as best as you can.
  • Maintain the highest level of food safety and hygiene throughout the entire kitchen. Assure your customers on your hygiene efforts to maintain their trust in your services.
  • Invest in better staff training. Improved cleaning, hygiene, and customer services translate into long-term benefits that go well beyond the pandemic.
  • Place a concerted effort to your admin and office systems. You can’t afford to waste time and efficiency at a time of crisis. Think about moving tasks online that still require paper and conduct payrolls, orders, and social media activities remotely.
  • Improve communication with your customers. Take advantage of various social media channels like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat to build interest and let everyone know about your offerings. An interesting newsletter each week is a welcome addition considering that most people look towards cafes and restaurants for food comfort.
  • Maintain a warm and friendly service. Positive interactions establish deeper connections with customers, especially during a pandemic where people are surrounded by attention-grabbing headlines.

Other factors worth considering

  • Discuss the delivery and food availability with your suppliers. Chances are they’re having their own staffing issues to deal with, meaning your orders will be down and the entire supply chain may be affected as well.
  • Ask your accountant on how they can negotiate tax and bills payments with the Australian Taxation Office.
  • Have your lawyer talk to your landlord about rent payments. Paying full rent at a loss of revenue can hurt your business. Try to share your figures and seek what arrangements you can come to terms with to help soften the blow of the pandemic.
  • Learn about government support payments. These funds are being announced regularly which makes it crucial to know which ones relate to your business.
  • Talk to your creditors. They most likely have their own problems as well, but that doesn’t mean they’re unwilling to negotiate. Find out which of your creditors are tolerant and which ones you can negotiate with.
  • Check for cancellation terms on your function booking agreements. Evaluate the strictness of these agreements, see what you can possibly enforce, and make adjustments when necessary.

With the coronavirus pandemic threatening hospitality businesses, taking swift action is critical to reducing its impact. These practical tips can help you make better decisions on how to handle your staff, provide efficient customer service, and deal with other aspects of your business to help keep the operations running. Should you have any additional issues relating to insurance it is always advisable to speak directly with a hospitality insurance expert in Australia.

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