No business operation runs smoothly at all times. At some point, life or the industry will throw a curveball your way that you will not be able to dodge. The only thing you can do when it happens is to mitigate the damage and figure out a solution that can help you and your team survive.
Here are steps that your office can follow to manage your way out of a crisis:
Have a Plan
You cannot predict what will happen in the future, but you can anticipate potential problems that your business can encounter and start making changes to address it as early as now.
Advance planning is the key to weathering any crisis. Begin by stating your objectives and mapping out the actions needed to be enforced. Your plan should be clear and specific to avoid any confusion and to enable your team to immediately carry out the solutions without the need for supervision or explanation.
It will also help to have measures in place to prevent any crisis. For example, integrating ServiceNow’s Security Incident Response will protect your data from cyberattacks. Individuals and groups with malicious intent are targeting companies, from big corporations to small businesses, to wreak havoc. You should start implementing changes now to stop it from happening to you.
Create a Team
A group of people who will be capable of responding to a crisis as soon as it happens. Your crisis management team should be composed of employees from different departments and have diverse backgrounds to offer more perspectives and out-of-the-box solutions.
Your crisis management team will prioritize detecting and solving the crisis without disrupting your office’s regular operations. They will speak internally to other employees to explain the situation and externally to the public to reassure clients. They will also develop the best strategies on how to deal with the crisis and how to prevent it from happening again.
It is hard to maintain the trust of your employees and clients once you have let them down. Being transparent is a step in the right direction.
Tell people the truth. Any bad news that you keep secret will just create rumors and further bad press. You will lose any integrity that you have left.
When you finally face a crisis, be prepared to be open about it. Give frequent updates across all relevant channels (your website, social media pages, emails, the press). Do not let an ugly news report expose a problem. The truth should come directly from you.
All eyes will be on you. Your employees and your clients will be looking at you and how you react to the crisis.
You should not show distress outwardly. Let them know that everything is under your control to avoid negative feelings that may affect productivity.
Take a few minutes of your every day to remind your staff — and yourself — that this is only temporary and you will get through it unscathed.
Learn from Your Mistakes
A crisis can teach you a lot to prevent more crises from popping up in the future. You cannot erase this experience from your resume, but you can turn it into an advantage. Use everything you have gleaned from the challenging time you have been through to improve your office’s operations.
Experiencing a crisis is not the end of every business. While failure is a possibility, arming yourself through careful planning and preparations will help you survive any storm.