Making changes to your business can come with unique problems. As you try to make your business greener, more sustainable, and more responsible, it’s important to identify potential issues that can lead to a crisis.
Is It a Crisis or Just a Problem?
While doing business, problems will arise. You will handle these problems as they occur, and likely implement solutions to prevent such problems in the future. And while any problem can have small or large consequences, they do not always threaten the viability of the business itself.
On the other hand, a crisis is a problem that can literally destroy the reputation of a business, or destroy the business itself. It is one thing when something happens that can affect the bottom line. It is a whole other situation when a problem can ruin your business in a way that th. This is the main difference between a problem and a crisis.
All Businesses Can Face a Crisis.
Is your business prone to failure due to a crisis? Many believe that only larger corporations have to face the kinds of things that can destroy their brand. Unfortunately, all businesses must accept the possibility of a crisis.
Being prepared for a crisis is of the utmost importance to any business. While you may think you’ve taken all the steps to make your business crisis-proof, you’re forgetting that a crisis can occur for reasons completely outside of your control.
Types of Crisis.
Not all businesses face the same kinds of crisis. Dr. Otto Lerbinger identified seven broad categories of crisis. Later, an eighth category was added.
- Organisational misdeeds
- Workplace violence
- Man-made disasters and terrorism
Every business would do well to utilise strategies to handle or mitigate the problems that can occur with each of these categories and their sub-categories.
Crisis Management and Prevention.
Learn to recognise a potential crisis before it becomes a full crisis. It’s easier to put out a small flame than it is to quench a towering inferno. To that end, you would do well to implement a crisis management plan for your business.
A crisis management plan (CMP) can represent nothing more than a handy contact sheet, or it can represent a full blueprint that outlines detailed steps for all eventualities. No matter how you go about it, it’s important that you have some kind of plan in place.
When a problem occurs, you don’t want anybody lost trying to figure who to contact or what to do. Those wasted minutes can make the difference between having a problem and having a crisis.
These plans are also called crisis communication plans and crisis response plans. No matter what you call it, you should have one and make sure it’s updated annually. Your plan should include at least the following elements.
- Crisis identification
- Response steps
- A named crises team
This is just a start. The level of detail you need for your plan will depend on the nature of your business, how large it is, and your organisational structure.
Hire a Professional Service.
If you don’t know where to start, or if you need help, then you should hire a firm that specifically deals with crisis management and PR. Keep in mind that planning for a potential crisis does not mean that you won’t still have to face one.
Mitigating a crisis is one thing, but you still may have to rebuild your business, your brand, and most importantly, your reputation. Taking on such a task yourself isn’t always ideal.