Critical business situations can lead to financial and operational distress. Regardless of the cause or nature of the problem, every crisis needs a response — and a quick one. What’s astounding is how poorly a lot of business owners handle crises.
Crisis management is a tool many leaders keep in their toolkit, but secretly hope they never need to use, especially on a grand scale. While minor situations arise regularly in the course of business, larger scale issues can end careers and destroy entire corporate profiles if handled incorrectly.
Maintain a positive attitude and move fast
In today’s digital age, news travels faster than lightning. When something goes awry, a business leader no longer has the luxury of waiting to respond. If you don’t dictate the narrative, someone else will do it for you. Even if all the facts have not yet come to light, it’s important to acknowledge the crisis, even if that simply means putting out a statement or tweet that says that the matter is being taken seriously and is under investigation.
Admit you have a problem
Dealing with a crisis is a serious business. You can’t deal with it effectively without first of all admitting your business has been hit by a problem. Do not get tricked by your own brain or trying to ignore the problem. If you ignore a small problem, it can generate to a bigger one. Keep in mind that no matter the nature of the problem that has hit your business, you have the capacity to drive your business out of the crisis.
Stick to your core values
What are your core values? You should learn how to determine your core values, even if your business is a small one. Identifying with your core values is the key, and it has the capacity to save you from potential harm. Knowing what your vision and core values are would help you run the business in an ethical manner despite the hurricane forces or unfortunate situations that bedevilled the business.
Take responsibility, but find outside help when needed
It’s simple: Even if you feel that the issue is not your fault, it is often best to apologise. While you may legally be in the right, the only court that matters during a crisis is the court of public opinion.
If your business is hit by the crisis, then you really need to set aside your personal ego and seek help from professionals with immediate effect, especially in the areas where you lack the required skill to resolve the crisis.
Establish channels of communication
Regardless of the nature of the crisis, it is vital that you set up channels of communication (whether that’s a hotline or social media feed) where people can provide information, ask questions or simply blow off steam. Being seen as transparent and open is absolutely essential for protecting your brand after the crisis blows over.
Be prepared and set up a plan for next time
No matter how careful you are in the future, disasters can and will still happen. Conduct vulnerability audits to see where problems could arise. Have a clear plan and a designated team so that you can immediately jump into action.
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