No matter what kind of disruption you have, IBHS’s OFB-EZ (Open for Business-EZ) toolkit can help you build a business continuity plan so you can prepare, respond and recover.
From severe weather to a virus outbreak and everything in between, the free toolkit is designed to help small businesses plan for any type of disruption so they can quickly re-open and resume operations following a disaster. The toolkit provides a roadmap for managing disruptions using simple and easy tasks, including developing an employee contact list, reviewing and documenting insurance policies, building a plan for supply chain disruptions, and how to better prepare your finances.
The OFB-EZ tool helps small businesses take the steps they need to keep functioning in the event of a major disaster or a smaller disruption. The goal is to continue to perform your most critical operations, which will help reduce short- and long-term losses to your bottom line. How does OFB-EZ do this? The toolkit addresses the following areas to help you be ready for whatever disruptions occur:
- Know Your Risks
You can’t plan for disruptions if you don’t know the risks your business faces. Consider the greatest risks/threats specific to your business operations.
- Know Your Operations
Knowing what critical functions are required to keep your business humming is critical to recovery. Identify and rank the business functions and processes pivotal to the survival of your business.
- Know Your Employees
Connecting with your employees before, during, and after a disruption is critical. Collecting key information can help you recover quickly.
- Know Your Equipment
What’s important for your business to operate? Identify key pieces of equipment that are critical to your business function and ability to regain normalcy. Consider how to move or protect this equipment before disaster strikes.
- Know How to Reduce Potential Disruptions
Are your operations, processes, and/or building unique to your business? Identify your business’s potential obstacles and define capabilities to help you recover more quickly.
- Know Your Key Customers, Contacts, Suppliers, and Vendors
Having contact information for key people in your business operations is important to getting your business running again during recovery. Also, consider backup options if key pieces in your supply chain are also impacted by disaster.
- Know Your Information Technology
Technology is vital for nearly all business operations so it’s important to understand the role it plays in your business. Identify key information and back it up.
- Know Your Finances
Are you financially prepared for costly interruptions? If not, now is the time to plan and prepare. Begin a reserve fund now and make sure you are adequately insured.
- Know When to Update and Test Your Plan
It’s one thing to build a plan, but it’s also important to test this plan periodically so you know it works. Make sure you are practicing your plan with employees every 6–12 months, or any time there are changes to your business.
- Know Where to Go for Help
Build ties with your community and outside agencies who can help you recover quickly from a disaster. Maintain communications with community leaders, public safety organizations (such as fire and police departments, and emergency medical services), government agencies, utility companies, and others.
OFB-EZ is a free business continuity tool designed to help even the smallest businesses focus on planning for any type of business interruption, so they can quickly re-open and resume operations following a disaster.
The OFB-EZ tool helps small businesses take the steps they need to keep functioning in the event of a major disaster or a smaller disruption. The goal is to continue to perform your most critical operations, which will help reduce short- and long-term losses to your bottom line.
Additional benefits are that you will be contributing to your community’s resiliency by keeping your employees on the job and your goods and services available to your customers. The suggested planning exercises in the online tool are a great way to build teamwork, and make sure that all of your employees know what to do in the event of an emergency.
OFB-EZ is designed for the small business owner.
Business owners can download the free OFB-EZ toolkit and create their own business continuity plan using eight modules. After completing the modules, business owners should make multiple copies of their plan and store them both at their business and in a safe, off-site location.
The OFB-EZ toolkit will enable small businesses to:
- Identify the business activities that are essential for continued operation during a disruption;
- Deal with risks faced by the organization; and
- Create an easy-to-use recovery plan tailored to the individual business, providing confidence if the worst occurs.
Multiple, fillable forms can be combined to create one complete document which can be:
- Printed and distributed to staff,
- Saved to your hard drive,
- Saved on a password-protected flash drive,
- Saved to the cloud,
- As well as many other options.
No. This unique, easy-to-use tool does not require any previous experience with or knowledge of business continuity planning.
Updated Version Coming Soon
OFB-EZ Mobile guides users through an easy process to create a recovery plan that will help even the smallest business recover and re-open quickly after a disaster. The app includes several helpful planning tools, such as evaluation checklists to help business users understand their risks, and forms for users to enter and store important contact information for employees, key customers, suppliers and vendors.