Whatever their size, companies are often not prepared for crisis in business and generally do not have a crisis management plan in place.
Some entrepreneurs even think that this will never happen to them.
Before a crisis breaks out, entrepreneurs should think about the impact of a disaster on their employees, customers, suppliers, the general public, and the value of their business.
A crisis can hit any business anytime, anywhere. Advanced planning is, therefore, the key to survival.
Here are seven essential steps to crisis management that each business should have in place, regardless of size.
Have a plan
Each plan begins with clear objectives.
The objectives during any crisis are to :
- protect any person (employees or customers) who the crisis may threaten,
- ensure that the target audience is kept informed,
- ensuring that the business can survive.
This crisis management plan in companies must include specific actions implemented in a crisis.
Most importantly, you have to create a crisis management plan when everything is going well and everyone involved can think clearly.
Another essential element of planning for crisis management in business is establishing a succession plan. You must clearly describe the steps you need to take if you suddenly become unable to perform your duties.
This plan may include the sale of the business or the transfer of ownership to family members or key employees.
Identify a spokesperson
If a crisis could impact the health or well-being of customers, the general public, or employees, it may also attract media attention.
To ensure that your company speaks with one voice and delivers a clear and consistent message, a spokesperson must be identified to answer questions from the media and participate in interviews.
Be honest and open
Nothing generates more negative media coverage than a lack of honesty and transparency in a crisis. Therefore, being as open and transparent as possible can help stop the rumors and defuse a potential media frenzy.
This transparency must be projected through all communication channels: interviews, press releases, social networks, internal announcements, etc.
Keep employees informed in crisis management; keeping an informed workforce ensures that business continues to go as well as possible.
It also minimizes the internal rumor that can lead employees to publish false reports on social media.
- Communicate with customers and suppliers
Your customers and suppliers should not be aware of your crisis through the media.
Information about any crisis in your business must come from you first. Part of the crisis communication plan should include customers and suppliers and how they will be regularly updated during the event.
Inform early and often
For good crisis management in companies, communicating excessively is better than allowing rumors to fill the void.
Summary statements, updated action plans, and new data should be issued as soon and as often as possible.
Remember that with social media and cable news channels today, we live in a time of the news cycle 24 / 7. Your crisis plan must do the same.
Don’t forget social media.
Many major recent events have confirmed that social media is one of the most important communication channels, especially for good crisis management in the workplace.
Be sure to create a social media team to monitor, publish and respond to the activity of social networks throughout the crisis.
Poor crisis management can wipe out decades of hard work and value for the business in a few hours.
A well-managed crisis confirms that your business has put processes and procedures to deal with almost all of the problems that may arise.
As you develop your corporate crisis management plan, seek advice from experts such as your management team, employees, customers, communication experts, bankers, chartered accountants, lawyers, or financial directors.