Creating a Crisis Management Plan
COVID-19 (coronavirus) has impacted individuals, families, and businesses across the world. It has had an impact on the way work is done, caused governments to issue curfews and stay at home orders, and changed the way in which children receive education as schools are closed. These sudden changes have many scrambling to figure out how to maintain their everyday lifestyles and in many cases create a new routine for work life and home life.
While this crisis has impacted everyone, leaders are affected a little differently. As a leader, you receive a heavier load because others are looking to you for answers on how to handle this crisis, how to manage all these changes, and how to survive during this time.
I recently shared with my email list how this crisis provides us with an important business lesson we cannot ignore. The lesson is: have a crisis management plan for your business. Having a plan in place helps to reduce the impact a crisis will have on your business. And it also helps you as a leader maintain your sanity.
A solid crisis management plan will outline the steps you as a leader will take whenever a crisis arises in your business.
So what do you include in a crisis management plan?
First, you will want to define what a crisis is for your business. Examples of a crisis include natural disasters, losing a client, a health crisis such as COVID-19, or any other even that rises unexpectedly especially when there is no plan in place for how to handle it. When defining what a crisis is for you and your business remember that what one person considers a crisis is not always a crisis for someone else. For example, losing a client may not be a crisis for you, but for someone who has 2-3 clients losing one client can be detrimental to their business.
Next, you will want to identify who a crisis will affect. This may be you, your employees, your customer, or even your family. Along with the list of people who will be affected, you will also want to include how they will be affected. For example, if the crisis affects your employees will it cause a reduction in hours or will they lose their job because there are no funds available to pay them. If the crisis affects your customers, will you have limited hours available to serve them? Be as detailed as possible as it will help you with the next step.
Now that you have identified a potential crisis for your business and who they can affect, you will want to write out your plan of communication. This is how you will communicate that a crisis is happening and it will affect each person connected to your business. Finally, you will communicate your plan to all parties who could potentially be impacted and keep the doors of communication open.
While a crisis is not something we hope for having a plan in place can help you reduce the effects it has on your business. If you haven’t already done so I encourage you to take some time to develop a crisis management plan for your business. Just use the steps above to get started.
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