To have your own business means that you have to get used to fire fighting. You will come to see that every day there is some kind of storm brewing that you will have to deal with. The hardest thing about crisis management is the fact that you can never anticipate when and how much of an impact it will have on your business. At any given moment, some natural disaster can occur and threaten both your tangible and intangible business resources.
Big companies hire a team of specialists whose only jobs are to handle crisis management. They put different scenarios that might befall the business and devise intricate plans for the company to follow during each. However, for smaller businesses like yours, while it may not be feasible to hire a crisis management team, you still have to prepare your business for emergencies.
In this article, we will introduce some ideas on how you can do so:
Take the Necessary Training
If you cannot afford to hire a group of crisis management experts, you can provide company-wide training that can teach your team how to react to different emergencies. Nowadays, you can find many inhouse simulations and online virtual seminars that you and your team can attend. Putting your team through these helpful crisis simulations will make them understand the necessary tools and protocols that they should apply in different crises ranging from fires and earthquakes to terrorist attacks. During the crisis management training, you will also acquire the skills that will enable you as the business owner to lead your business back into recovery after an emergency. If you want to truly benefit from this kind of training, you have to make sure that the training providers are subject matter experts who use interactive techniques and relevant exercises to make the simulations as close as possible to real-life situations.
Assemble an Emergency Team
Select a few of your employees and give them more extensive training to act as the designated personnel who are in charge during emergencies. Assemble a team of people who have natural tendencies to lead and the rest of the staff respect them enough to follow their lead. They should also be committed to going through all of the necessary focused training that they would need if they are to take over this demanding task.
Make Sure you have the Right Insurance
One of the important tools that will help prepare you for business emergencies, is to make sure that you have the proper insurance plans in place. You can ensure your business against damages from natural disasters and other emergencies. If you experience a data breach or release a defect product in the market that would need to be recalled, crisis management coverage should handle any reputational threats that your company might face.
Knowing that you can mitigate your losses will give you the mental space to think clearly about other aspects of the business during and after crises. Do some research and find a coverage plan that you can comfortably afford to keep for a long time. It is highly recommended to work with a lawyer if you do not have your one legal team in order to discuss the terms of the insurance plan and verify the contracts before you can commit.
Always try to be one step ahead with emergencies that you can foresee. Being a savvy business person means that you know how to read the economic environment and are able to anticipate a market crash early on. Trust your instincts and do not wait until the disaster befalls, instead, act immediately and start putting your emergency plans into effect to soften the blow and give your business better chances of survival.
Conduct Regular Maintenance and Review Your Emergency Plans
To make sure your business is always prepared to face any emergency, you have to supervise regular maintenance and ensure compliance to safety and security measures. Do not take any chances when it comes to yours and your team’s safety even if it will cost you tons of money to reinstall a new ventilation system, you cannot afford to take any risks. In addition, you have to make it a point to revisit your emergency plans every once in a while to verify that they are still valid. Reviewing and improving will allow you to be ready at all times for whatever might come your way.
It is rare for small businesses to invest time and money in crisis management and business continuity plans. However, as you have read, the cost of not having them far outweighs the costs. You can start small and build your way up to more sophisticated measures as your business grows. It is always better to be safe than sorry, so use the above ideas and start now.