How Should Small Businesses Manage Different Crisis Situations
Everyone wants to avoid crisis situations, but despite our best efforts, these are sometimes inevitable in a business environment. How we respond to crises can make them better or worse, and the same is true in business.
How you manage a crisis will influence whether it is brief or outdrawn with far-reaching consequences. These tips can help guide you through some of the crises your business might face, including natural disasters, public relations crises and cyberattacks.
Public Relations Crisis
One of the more common types of crises for businesses comes after some sort of wrongdoing, either by an employee or as a result of some company policy. In these cases, the brand is the face of the conflict and its reputation is immediately affected. In public relations crises it is best to assemble a crisis management team and begin devising a plan, if you don’t already have one.
When you’re managing a public relations crisis, it’s important to do the following:
- Gather all the facts and share them with stakeholders in a crisis fact sheet.
- Try to avoid making an evasive “no comment” statement; instead, explain that the company is still gathering all the facts and will soon make an official statement.
- Take responsibility and don’t cover it up.
- Apologize and establish a plan of action for preventing a similar future crisis.
- Review the situation in a post-crisis report.
In the current online environment, every business needs to be aware of cybersecurity risks. Attacks on company networks can hamper business activity. Besides, it can put brands in heavily unfavourable positions, especially if customer data has been compromised in the process. Obviously following strong security measures helps avoid cybersecurity risks, but doesn’t completely eliminate those.
When a cyberattack occurs, it also means you have to regain the trust of your customers. Both B2B and B2C companies have to protect their customers’ data, and a cyberattack undermines confidence in a company’s ability to do so. When this happens, be transparent about the updates to your security policies and software to show your clients that it won’t be so easy to compromise your network the next time around.
Natural disasters are daunting prospects for everyone, businesses included, but these happen unexpectedly and swiftly. Small business owners should survive a natural disaster just fine if they take the necessary precautions ahead of time:
· Keep cash reserves in case of emergency. Research found that 1 in 5 small businesses would shut down within 30 days if sales stopped completely.
· You can also buy the proper insurance. Only a small fraction of businesses have disaster insurance and/or business interruption insurance. One of the ways to protect your business against damage to the physical store or a stoppage in sales is to insure against these threats.
Small business have the ability to bounce back once a natural disaster ends but to do so, it’s important to ensure you can close down shop at a moment’s notice and get by without much revenue for a short time.