It is of great importance to have a plan on ground for handling crisis in business. Remember the popular saying, “When you fail to plan, you have planned to fail.”
Here are some tips on how to handle crises in business:
- Have a plan. Planning for possible crisis is essential in business as it helps mitigate risks and protect stakeholders from potential impact as much as possible. Failing to plan is literally planning to fail. Write out detailed examples of potential crises and highlight strategies and action plans for minimizing or resolving them. State possible reactions from you and your team members, and explore solutions and best practices. Think through the steps carefully, as it will make coping under crisis a lot easier to manage. This proves to your clients and investors that your business is capable of coping with anything that comes its way.
- Face the crisis head-on. Life is not easy; neither is it fair. In business, you may face physical, financial, relationship, and communication challenges, but you are not to beat yourself about these for long. Develop the ability to face crises head-on. According to Albert Einstein, “In the middle of every difficulty lies opportunity.” So, try to keep your cool; figure and map out solutions on the way to recovery. Panicking does nothing for you. It only keeps you from making sound decisions, and this could also make your team members doubt your leadership abilities.
- Be transparent. Tell the truth early in order to silence rumors that may soon begin to make the rounds. Be honest and transparent; accept responsibility and draft out a crisis communication message to your clients in the relevant formats. Emails, internal memos, social media messages, and text messages are some formats you can adopt.
- Seek help. Identify where you need help, and ask for it. Business owners need to know that, sometimes, they cannot do it alone. Getting professional help is paramount. Call in professionals for good guidance as regards the crisis on ground, and explore how to get out of the crisis.
- Cut off loss centres. This is the point where you locate areas of your business where you spend more and receive less – where you run at a loss. Find out such areas and cut them off. A time of crisis is a sensitive period in business and you need all you can get. This action may lead to stopping production of products that no longer turn in profits. The point is trying to come up with a “turnaround plan” and executing it rigorously.
- Curb your emotions. The hallmark of a great entrepreneur/ business owner is to face challenges with clarity and direction. Do not let emotions becloud your judgements as they make the problems linger on which could ruin your business.