Everyone has been affected by a crisis. We have all either had our profits affected or been forced to implement new protocols for employees who have continued working. During Hurricane Katrina, employees’ lives were lost and homes were destroyed, causing people to relocate. Industries shut down for weeks. The impact of the natural disaster caused many businesses to shut down entirely. Now, during the time of COVID-19, we are once again seeing how a crisis can affect so many aspects business. Sales in several industries have gone down. Employees have been let go. Many bars are unable to conduct business. Many businesses, particularly small businesses, are losing customers and being forced to shut down for good. Personally, I’ve wondered how many people could have kept their places still functioning if they had a crisis management plan.
A crisis management plan is created in order to prepare for any and all types of crises. According to experts, the best way to develop and maintain a crisis management plan is to…
- Identify all types of possible crises
- For each one, determine the impact it could have on your business – including for customers and employees
- Figure out what actions need to be taken for each crisis
- Assign certain people to be in charge of the specific duties to resolve the crisis
- Develop official plans on maneuvering around the crisis
- Determine who needs to be briefed on the plan, then train them
- Revisit the plan regularly (perhaps quarterly) and adjust the plan as needed
Developing a crisis management plan is more important than many people realize. Sometimes, even the best laid plans may not prepare you for what lies ahead. This is not fool proof. But in many cases, having a plan can be the difference between thriving and losing your business during a major change or disaster.