So you've started up a business and things are going reasonably well. Good job! But it's always smart to be prepared for when things go wrong, because eventually they will. Every business faces crises at one point or another, whether major or minor, and the way you and your staff handle the situation will determine how much brand damage is ultimately done. This guide will outline five business crises and how to handle them.
1. A PR Crisis
A public relations crisis can really be related to anything—one of your employees said something inappropriate, a product had a major malfunction or something came out to the public that was either not supposed to or is monumentally embarrassing. Hiring good PR people will go a long way towards not only taking the steps to prevent something like this from happening, but also handling the fallout when a gaffe is made. Honesty, promptness and potentially firing employees will save your company a lot of headache by preventing rumors from gaining too much traction before an official response is made.
2. A Financial Crisis
A financial crisis can hit a business at any time, no matter how thoroughly planned out your budget might be. There might be a catastrophic event, stocks could unexpectedly tank, or simply too many unanticipated bills could be due all at one time. The best way to prevent this is to have capital built up in business savings accounts for emergencies. But if your business finds itself in the middle of a financial emergency, don't be afraid to take out a loan. You could even direct your employees to take out a payday loan and then pay the interest on it if you are temporarily unable to pay their salaries.
3. A Workforce Crisis
A workforce crisis might not always be readily apparent, though that's what makes them so dangerous. The reason for this is that this kind of crisis tends to descend upon your company slowly rather than in one earthshaking event. The signs are fairly obvious: your business loses and then continues to lose good employees. Your employees appear disgruntled. Eventually, your company will be left with mediocre employees and unable to attract new talent. To prevent this from happening and to solve the problem, work on creating a good work environment and better office culture. Send out surveys every once in a while to monitor employee satisfaction, and try to fix problems as soon as they happen.
4. A Security Crisis
Security breaches can turn into major, major problems, whether they are digital or physical, so take proper steps to ensure one does not occur, such as teaching your employees to exercise discretion and having adequate digital and physical security features in place. If a security breach does occur, there are several things you must do, including involving the police, working with cyber-security experts to ensure such a thing never happens again, and working to rebuild trust in your customers.
5. A Client Crisis
For any number of reasons, you might suddenly have difficulty with or lose a major client. This could be due to a change in your client's leadership, financial troubles or anything in between. You will have to judge whether it is worth it to try and keep that client on or let them go. If you let them go, steps must be taken immediately, such as an aggressive marketing campaign, to draw in new clients to fill that gap. Prevent all of this by doing your part to retain clients after bringing them on, including providing them top-notch customer service and continuing to forge a relationship with them.
Whatever you do when faced with a crisis at your company, never go dark with your customers or allow a problem to fester. Doing either of these things will only make the problem and resulting brand damage much worse. Follow this guide for how to handle the most common business crises, and you should be able to weather the storm.
I hope you enjoyed this article about specific business crises and how best to handle them.
Interested in more articles about business branding and PR?
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Published by Michael J Schiemer
Owner of Bootstrap Business
Money - Marketing - Motivation
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Mike Schiemer Builds Better Business
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