Get Prepared with Open for Business™
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
OFB-EZ starts by helping you identify the most serious threats to your business by focusing on what disruptions are most likely to happen, and what the impact would be if they do.
KNOW YOUR OPERATIONS
To focus your plan on the things that matter most to your bottom line, you also need to identify your key business functions and processes, and decide how long you can go without being able to perform each of them. OFB-EZ helps you do this by giving you a tool to document critical details for each business function, such as how quickly it needs to be restored, the people who perform the function, and who receives the output.
KNOW YOUR EMPLOYEES
Almost every small business relies on its employees to succeed. That is why it is critical to know how to locate your employees after a disaster, make sure they are safe, and let them know about the status of your business operations and how they can get back to work. OFB-EZ provides a convenient place to record basic employee contact information, as well as options for communicating with employees if phone and power lines are down.
KNOW YOUR KEY CUSTOMERS, CONTACTS, SUPPLIERS AND VENDORS
Having up-to-date contact information for your key customers, contacts, suppliers and vendors is just as important as knowing how to reach your employees. OFB-EZ allows you to create and maintain contact lists and keep them where they are easily accessible.
KNOW YOUR INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY
Information and information technology are the lifeblood of almost every business. OFB-EZ helps you inventory and document your information technology, including hardware, software, digital data and connectivity. It also reminds users of the importance of frequent back-ups, off-site storage, and restoration options.
KNOW YOUR FINANCES
The time to prepare your business’ finances for a potential disruption is before a disaster occurs. To help business owners do so, OFB-EZ provides a checklist to assist in creating a post-disaster financial strategy, along with an inventory of key financial contacts.
KNOW WHEN TO UPDATE AND TEST YOUR PLAN
Your organization is constantly changing, and so is the environment around it. That’s why it’s important to update and test your plan regularly, using suggestions provided by OFB-EZ. It also is vital to recognize that disaster planning is not only a paper exercise, it needs to actively involve the people you will rely on in a real event. The “power outage” table top exercise in OFB-EZ is an effective way to test your organization’s disaster readiness and learn where you need to improve.
KNOW WHERE TO GO FOR HELP
OFB-EZ is a compact disaster planning tool, but there are many additional resources available that provide further disaster safety recommendations and aid in your recovery after an event. The online toolkit provides contact information for some of these organizations; there may be others in your local community.
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.
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.