When you’re a business owner, big or small, you’re bound to make mistakes and encounter disasters from time to time. Rest assured, it’s all part of being an entrepreneur. Here are a few tips on dealing with crises when your small business is smack in the middle of one:
Acknowledge the Problem
Dealing with a crisis is a serious business. You can’t deal with it effectively without, first of all, admitting your business has been hit by a problem.
Know that no matter the nature of the problem that has hit your business, you have the capacity to get your business out of the crisis. If you’re a small food stall in the midst of the pandemic crisis, consider selling online. If you have an incompetent employee which is also a family member or relative, it’s time for some tough love. Denying a problem exists will never solve the situation. Knowing and defining the problem means you are already halfway to solving it.
Keep Your Cool
Refrain from getting emotional. That will only make the issue more complex and cloud your judgment. Make an active effort to remain calm, collected, and composed. Your employees will feel assured and confident knowing their boss is unruffled amidst the chaos.
Pin Down the Problem and Create a Strategy to Address It
Sit down with your team and examine the situation. Then make a clear step-by-step approach in order to fix it. If it’s an urgent situation, stop the bleeding first. For example, if you’re posting incorrect or misleading promo materials for customers, take down the posts and issue a statement addressing the concern.
Seek the Help of Experts
Due to budget constraints, small business owners tend to do it all by themselves – but this isn’t always advised. It’s important to know your limitations and bring in an outside expert or consultant, if necessary.
Adjust, Improvise, and Overcome
Last is to assess the feasibility of the crisis management plan for your small business. Prior to implementation, you should lay out some key performance indicators or KPIs to measure your progress. Did sales go up after addressing the issue? Has your follower count increased after sending your food samples to a micro influencer? If the desired results have not yet been achieved in a given timeframe, make adjustments to the strategy.
Be prepared to adapt and do not be afraid to improvise when things are not going according to plan.
These five strategies are a simple, yet effective guide to navigating your small business through a crisis of any sort. If implemented properly and adhered to religiously, this plan of action will remedy any situation, and stabilize the business altogether.