Running a business comes with its challenges, and perhaps one of the most difficult challenges is dealing with unexpected business interruptions. Business interruptions can occur in many forms, such as natural disasters, accidents, employee disputes, and pandemics. When these situations arise, a business leader's focus shifts from managing the business to mitigating the effect of the interruption on the company's employees, stakeholders, customers, and vendors.
Protecting Against Business Interruptions:
Business owners must ensure that their businesses are protected against interruptions. To do so, the following steps can be taken:
a) Insurance policies: Businesses should invest in insurance policies that cover business interruptions.
b) Emergency plan: An emergency plan should be implemented, clear, concise, and readily available to all employees.
c) Employee training: Employees should be trained on the emergency plan and know what is required in a crisis.
Understanding Your Contracts and Agreements:
Parties to contracts and agreements should thoroughly review the terms of the arrangements as they relate to business interruptions. In case of business interruptions, parties must clearly understand their obligations and responsibilities and prepare accordingly. This includes understanding force majeure clauses, which are included in many contracts that address the possibility of events outside the parties' control, rendering performance impossible or impractical.
Communication and Coordination:
Open communication and coordination can help mitigate the effects of disruptions on the business. Businesses must be transparent in communicating effectively with stakeholders, employees, customers, and vendors. Management should establish communication channels, such as an emergency email system or hotline, to ensure that all stakeholders are kept informed about the crisis. The management team should also provide the crisis team is adequately equipped, trained, and exercised to manage crisis response.
Implementing and Testing Business Continuity Plan:
Business continuity plans (BCPs) are critical to any organizational response to business interruptions. A BCP is a comprehensive program that outlines procedures and protocols to deal with emergencies that may arise during a crisis. The BCP involves strategies designed to support critical business functions and outlines the steps to be taken during a disruption. As part of the BCP, businesses should also have a testing program to ensure that the plans, procedures, and systems are operational.
Legal Strategies in Business Interruptions:
Depending on the situation, legal strategies may be utilized in case of business interruptions. For example, businesses may have legal recourse under their insurance policies and may have the option to claim for business interruption losses. Businesses should also explore whether there are alternative methods of dispute resolution, such as mediation or arbitration. Businesses should seek legal advice early on to be fully aware of the risks, obligations, and opportunities they may face during the interruption scenario.
Business Interruption Claims
Business interruptions can be massively disruptive to a business. However, with careful planning, preparation, communication, and coordination, a business can develop a robust and resilient response to a crisis situation. If you need legal assistance with business interruption, reach out to Bashore Green Law Group today at (248) 487-1887, and we will be happy to help you navigate this difficult terrain.