Every business whether it’s big, small or mid-sized, faces crisis situations sometime or the other. It is normal for any organization to confront obstacles, be it from the financial standpoint, investors, clients or customers, the management or from the employees. The trick is to handle such pressure situations and manage these tensed moments with a cool head. Crisis management strategies are thus, crucial for achieving business success. Big and mid-sized companies have resources that can help mitigate these brewing problems with expertise and professional guidance. It is the small business owners who face the wrath of crises and in most times choke when faced with crunch situations. Here I will discuss 4 simple steps to handle a small business crisis situation.
Step 1: Don’t Get Too Emotional
Emotion is good but NOT while managing a crisis situation. Set aside all your emotion and try to think practical. You have built your small business with blood and sweat, so there’s no reason why a simple problem or a mere turn of event can alter your course! One of the most usual forms of 8a certification small business crisis is facing negative reactions from customers or stakeholders and this negative publicity acts as a big turn off for the management as well as employees. The small business owner must handle this situation tactfully and with a level-headed approach. It is important to figure out the origin of the problem and not merely scuttle to conclusion.
Step 2: Take a Deep Breath
Sounds like anadvice out of yoga instruction manual rather than being a crisis management tip? Well, whatever you make of it! But, practicing ‘deep breathing’ has proved helpful in relieving tension from the human mind, so I would suggest small business owners who are faced with a crunch situation to at least take some time out from their schedule and practice ‘deep breathing’. In fact, if you can make it a habit to devote 10 minutes of your time every day, it will certainly help to clear your business tensions and keep you alert and pragmatic, enabling you to make effective and right decisions for the interest of your company.
Step 3: Plug the Wound ASAP
When faced with crisis, first identify the wound and plug the spot. Literally meaning, you should find out where the problem actually is and rush to stop the problem from affecting other organs of your company. For example, if a small business is losing money from launching a new product that isn’t doing well in the market, as the owner, make sure to call back the remaining products in circulation, revaluate your marketing strategy, rethink about the promotion and then think about reinvesting. If there’s a social media crisis with some competitors deliberately trying to smear your business brand with dirt, approach an ‘all open’ strategy. Be transparent and communicate with those on social media who are talking negative about your business or brand. Alternatively you can hire an ORM (Online Reputation Management) agency or an expert to maintain your business reputation, so that you don’t have to face crisis on that front at all.
Step 4: Build a Crisis Team
Identify the most trusted talents from your small business workforce and build an in-house crisis management team. You might say that your company has 5-10 employees in total, how would you make an effective team out of them? True, but have you given it a thought sometime that the person who works at your accounts is also good at solving crosswords or Sudoku puzzles? Or say your office clerk is an avid gamer with a keen eye for details? Utilize their latent skills and build a crisis response team. Who knows the occasional crossword solver may be your crisis solver!
To sum up, I would say that crisis and business go hand in hand. No business ever said they didn’t have to face crisis situations. It is through facing crisis and challenges that small businesses build their characters and reputation. So don’t get upset, face crisis by following these 4 simple steps and overcome it.