Transitioning your business to the post-pandemic world, entrepreneurs should implement crisis management plans and revamped strategies for a better future.
Startups and SMEs across the world, be it technology, hospitality, or finance, face enormous business challenges because of the unfortunate COVID-19 outbreak. The collapse of customer demand, significant regulatory modifications, supply chain interruptions, unemployment, economic recession, and increased uncertainty. All these happen in weeks.
In fact, according to the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), as of March, since this crisis emerged, 92% of small businesses said they suffered business turmoil because of the pandemic. A catastrophe may come in many forms at an unexpected time, one of which is what is happening today. It threatens the success of a business and harms its finances; therefore, proper strategies should do to survive. Before we discussed how to deal with a crisis, it is best to know more about crisis management.
Crisis Management. It is the process by which an organization prepares for and manages any emergency or unexpected situations that affect your business, stakeholders, employees, customers, and revenue. It is a critical element of public relations (PR).
With crisis management, the threat has already occurred and must have dealt with. It differs from risk management, which requires you to assess potential threats and look for ways to avoid them.
There are stages of crisis management: Pre-Crisis, Response to the Crisis, and Post-Crisis. Business owners need to understand the situation they are in and take the right actions.
Three Stages of Crisis Management
Pre-Crisis. You need to prevent any potential crisis. It comprises planning, recruiting and training a crisis management team, and conducting simulations for implementing the plan. Generating a crisis management plan will help your business when another crisis occurs later on.
Response to the Crisis. It involves now implementing the crisis management plan you have created, how you will respond to it. Such actions must be efficient and promptly executed. Like, for example, most businesses have offered to work from home policy. Or have brought their services in digital as compliance to the government and for the safety of their employees.
Post-Crisis. The crisis has subsided or a post-pandemic world in our current situation. But doesn’t mean the crisis management process has stopped, instead it continues and the best time to test your strategies for dealing with the crisis. Were they effective? Do they need to have redevelopment?
You might ask, is there a need for implementing a crisis management plan? What benefits to my company, and how is this essential to the success of my business?
Benefits of the Crisis Management Plan
- Reduce. It enables you to reduce the impact of the crisis.
- Maintain. If you are particular with your business reputation, then it will help you keep a reputable status. In the eyes of your customers, competitors, and industry leaders during and after the crisis.
- Safety. It improves the health and safety of everyone who works at/with your company.
- Productivity. This plan enables everyone to understand the specific role during and after the crisis, which helps increase productivity.
Now that you have understood how crisis management goes, here are some questions you need to ask to further with your strategic plan.
What crisis am I in? You need to figure out whether it is an internal or external crisis. The impact had felt only by businesses within the industry or in nearly every industry.
What are the effects? Business owners should estimate the impact on the company, employees, customers, and others. The potential adverse effects are:
- Loss in sales
- Customer dissatisfaction
- Tarnished reputations
- Increased costs
- Declining brand loyalty
- Difficulty in tracking cash flow
- Communication barriers with clients
What are the actions? By this time, you need to think of methods that are easy and quick to implement for overcoming the crisis and minimize the effect. If you have done nothing yet, your productivity will hamper, and the turnover will decrease until you could not pay your employees.
Who are the people involved? As the head, you are tasked to guide everyone involved in your crisis management plan. That includes the HR team, the PR team, the business development team, and other teams essential for the success of the plan. Clear guidance will help them understand their respective roles and prevent panic among employees with the fear of being laid off.
Although it has turned many businesses upside down, fortunately, there are ways and strategic plans to prepare your business for the post-pandemic world.
Analyze your marketing strategy
Ensure your current communications that convey the right message and put your business in a position to succeed after COVID-19. Revamp your marketing materials and be mindful in sending emails, posting on social media, or taking part in any marketing initiative that may come across as insensitive. You should show empathy and keep your communications relevant, brief, and meaningful.
Be online and share experiences
Make use of online tools. Like for example, even though retail shopping is down, but customers are online more than ever. Show the internet world who you are as a brand. Move your services online and start posting on social media. Be creative with your Facebook and Instagram stories. You may also want to consider creating content on TikTok, and importantly, don’t forget to provide a link to your website.
Stay connected with your customers
If you want your business to succeed after this pandemic, get in touch with your customers. Send them emails regarding your services that might be accessible to them. Update your website and social media channels with the current aid you can offer in these unfortunate times. Or create a survey and ask some ideas on what are the things they are looking for.
Support your employees
It is a fight for all, and that includes your employees. While preparing your business for success after COVID-19, show your employees some support, care, and value. They could probably use them right now.
- Offer training opportunities to empower your team
- Frequently check them and see how they’re doing
- Ask if they need anything to improve their process
- Provide your employees with certifications or some necessary industry information
- Implement flexible working hours to accommodate your employees’ needs
- Offer your employees sidelines or part-time job opportunities
Write new article content
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Depending on your business needs, you can look for better ways on how to deal with this crisis, but here are 5Ps from a management theorist, Henry Mintzberg, that would help you further with your strategic plan.
5Ps for your Strategic Plan
Position. Make sure you know your position in your niche during and after the pandemic. Know your market, what role you play in your ecosystem, and identify your major competitors.
Plan. It includes the plan of bouncing back once the pandemic eases. A course of action that you need to do today to achieve your objectives tomorrow.
Perspective. A crisis is not always bad for business. Instead, it motivates companies to be better. Consider foreseeing an identity change with your employees during this pandemic. And how your organization sees when this is over.
Projects. Do you need to launch, run, and coordinate with new projects? It points out sets of projects that tackle your coronavirus-related problems. You need to prioritize and create initiatives that will future-proof the organization.
Preparedness. Assess your organization how prepared you are to accomplish the projects you’ve outlined, especially when your organization has shifted to remote work.
Final thoughts, the current or imminent crisis should not make you anxious. It can be a spur for you to prepare better strategies in dealing with a potential crisis. Regardless of the size, companies must act today if they want to bounce back after this pandemic. With that said, one must think outside-the-box and prepare for a worst-case scenario. Implementing a Plan B, Plan C, D, E, and so on, can help improve your business’s odds of surviving—and eventually thriving again.