Unexpected events can wreak havoc on any business, whether large or small. Crises such as global pandemics, illness of business owner or key staff, death, or IT system failure could paralyze normal day-to-day activities.
To contain any of these crises will involve various approaches and agile measures to ensure the business’s continued existence and survival. Crisis management is a skill and requires personal qualities for efficient execution.
The COVID-19 pandemic has tested many businesses and taught us unforgettable lessons. Now, as the pandemic continues ravaging, as a business owner, you might need to reflect and ask yourself these two questions if you have not already:
“What’s my Plan B? Do I have a plan or strategy on how I will manage my business in any crisis?” Today let us focus on ways to do business with dignity, integrity, and respect during crises leading to success.
Here are three thoughts to provoke you, two ideas to inspire you, and one item to act on!
Three Thoughts to Provoke
Number One. Planning Thoroughly
Benjamin Franklin advises us that:
“If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!”
This straightforward but poignant statement is applicable in many areas of our lives. It also applies to crisis management. By taking the time to establish a plan on handling possible crises, the entrepreneur exponentially increases the chance that their business will succeed despite any tragedy.
Failure to plan could be devastating. You risk losing clients, employees and in worst cases, your business may collapse and never recover. Most of us save our files to our computer system. It is critical to have a back-up plan in a systems failure event. Never take planning for granted.
Start by identifying potential crises that might affect your business. How can you minimize those risks? Plan how to handle disasters emanating from your continuity plan and test and revise the plans regularly.
Number Two. Crisis Management
Risk planning is crucial to protect your business during a crisis. Create a plan with clearly outlined measures on employee and business operations. There should be information on ways to protect employees, including emergency contact information. How will they continue business operation?
Number Three. Communicate! Communicate!
Times of crisis impact everyone, from clients, business owners to managers to employees. If you keep communicating openly with your clients and employees, you can conquer crisis chaos.
Two Things to Inspire
Number One. Encourage Two-way communication
Leaders and business owners always see communication as necessary. In a crisis, it becomes vital. Team leaders should support communication to the team.
This two-way communication can be implemented by:
- Sending out a weekly email or newsletter to update the team and clients on the state of the business.
- Holding short meetings monthly with the team.
- Making it clear to the team that they can reach you with any concerns.
- Create a central communication and project management dashboard like Teamwork and Asana.
- Being honest about upcoming concerns.
Number Two. Self-care
It’s challenging to lead others if you’re not in the right place.
Maybe this quote from Eleanor Brown will explain my point better:
“Rest and self-care are so important. When you take time to replenish your spirit, it allows you to serve others from the overflow. You cannot serve from an empty vessel.”
As a business owner, during a crisis, you are affected just like your team members. It is difficult to guide others on the next steps if you are feeling worn out.
It is essential to take the time to take care of yourself. Engage in self-reflection, exercise, be kind to yourself through constructive self-talk, or be intentional about give yourself grace with your feelings.
Get yourself in a better place. You will then be more able to help and lead others effectively.
Your Action Item
A crisis can strike any business at any time. Remember, it can happen to you! Periods of crisis are difficult, tiring, and stressful for any business.
Take 15 minutes a day and reflect on crisis management areas that need improvement in your business. What plans can you implement that will provide you peace of mind.
Do you need help? Reach out today for a consultation. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule an appointment.