Today crisis is the rule in business as opposed to the exception. Every business, regardless of their size or industry will face multiple crises during their fiscal year. While the term “crisis” may sound intimidating, they are not always bad, just as stress is not always bad. Crisis is a process of change and conflict. The way in which your organization resolves the crisis will determine if your company will be better off or worse off after the crisis is over.
Common Crises for Small Businesses
There are many crises that small businesses face on a regular basis. These crises include things like growth, employee conflicts, funding and financing issues and public relations issues. These common crises force the company to make decisions that will impact the future of the company. These decisions can be seen as a fork in the road. While multiple paths/options are available, the company can only choose one and the path or option selected will move the company into a very specific direction. If the wrong path is chosen then the company will face a rough road that may lead inevitably to bankruptcy or closure of the business. However, if the right path or option is chosen then the company can be set on a road to prosperity.
Getting on the Right Path
Obviously the goal of crisis action planning is to ensure that the right path is taken when a crisis is present. The other goal is to ensure that the company is in control of the crisis from the start to the end. These goals are achieved through the development of a crisis action plan.
A crisis action plan will be a framework for the small business to use to identify, prevent, respond to, contain, control, resolve and learn from the crises that they face. This plan will outline possible crises that the business is susceptible to, it will develop a crisis action planning team, a team leader and strategies for dealing with the threat of crises.
One of the main components of a crisis action plan will be the crisis communication plan. This plan will identify a spokesperson for the organization and a backup spokesperson. These people will be trained in how to communicate strategically with the media and the general public during a crisis situation. The plan will then go on to detail how the company will develop a relationship with the local media, how they will orchestrate their media releases during a crisis and what steps will need to be taken to control the flow of information about the crisis and the organization.
To ensure that the company’s crisis action plan is always current, it will need to be updated periodically. Once a year is a good frequency to revise and update a crisis action plan. This revision/updating process can be handled by the crisis action planning team.