It’s easy for businesses when things are running smoothly, right? However, in today’s digital age, businesses are only a few minutes away from a crisis. This could be just a simple comment left on social media. In any case, businesses need to have a crisis management plan.
Having procedures in place to manage a crisis and mitigate risks will allow your business to continue running smoothly. Who would have thought that we’d experience a global pandemic that would lead to the whole world shutting down?
However, when the COVID-19 pandemic did hit, 70% of businesses were negatively impacted by the crisis, and 20% of them were positively impacted—they were prepared. Around 69% of businesses have experienced a crisis in the last five years, with an average of three crises.
In this guide, we’ll go over crisis management and its stages. We’ll discuss how you can create a safety or crisis management plan to ensure you’re ready to deal with any crisis that could impact your business. Buckle up!
Alt-text: A person holding a sign that says “COVID-19”
What is a Crisis?
Before we get into crisis management, we must first understand what crisis is. In business terms, a crisis is a sudden event or an unexpected problem faced by an organization. This crisis could result in the company’s reputation, processes, finances, and usual operations being severely impacted.
A crisis could originate from anywhere—within the company or from some external source. For example, an employee goes to a news channel and reveals your firm’s secrets, or a customer starts leaving negative reviews of your business on your Facebook page. Both these situations have the power to seriously jeopardize your business.
What is Crisis Management?
The term “crisis management” was first coined in 1976, and the crisis management theory appeared during the 1980s. From the industrial crises to certain business failures, multiple things led to the crisis management model being applied in real life.
Crisis management is a process through which an organization prepares and deals with an unexpected problem or event which could threaten the organization and endanger the business, employees, customers, investors, or finances.
The four Ps of crisis management are—Prevent, Plan, Practice, and Perform. It’s necessary to prepare for any threat to your business and have a plan to prevent any consequences. It all comes down to how you can protect your business, its operations and processes, its people, and its customers.
Alt-text: A man going through a financial crisis
Stages of Crisis Management
There are three stages of crisis management.
At this stage, your main focus is to prepare for any unforeseen crisis in the future. You first start by creating a safety/crisis management plan and choosing your team which will deal with crisis management.
You choose a communication challenge for your employees, customers, and investors. The more groups of stakeholders you have, the more communication channels you will need. Your preparation needs to be extensive.
This is the state when it starts to get real. When a crisis emerges, you must make fast decisions and take immediate action. It’s all about accuracy, speed, and consistency. If multiple people are involved, there will be the pressure of transmitting messages. But, with the right tools, you can stay on track.
Once the crisis is over, you deal with the aftermath. You can revise and assess your strategies. Measure the damage done and how you can recover. This is the best way to learn and ensure you don’t repeat the same mistakes.
Why Does Your Company Need a Crisis Management Plan?
With a crisis management plan in place, your company will know the procedures for dealing with potentially dangerous situations and unanticipated emergencies. This plan with guide you and help you take charge of the situation to save your business.
The key takeaway from this guide is that planning, communicating, and taking the right actions are necessary for any crisis. For budget-friendly safety tools, technology, or service that can help you during a crisis, check out Counterspherics.com.
Counterspherics provides a Crisis & Incident Management & Support Systems (CIMSS) service to help businesses prepare, act, and recover from internal and external crises. You can also check out their animated video case study about the 2011 Japan triple disaster and how their system was used by a California university to provide real-time alerts and instructions.
Counterspherics Labs have constantly been working to provide the right safety and threat management systems to businesses or people experiencing troubles or crisis events. You can reach out to them today for more info.
About The Editors and Counterspherics®
Rushton Prince and Henrie Watkins are Safety and Disaster Preparedness experts. Both have extensive backgrounds as First Responders, Safety Technology Implementers, Human Protection, and Occupational Health and Safety Trainers.
Counterspherics, the company behind MERLENN® has 22 years of experience in providing crisis response infrastructure and boasts a 100% customer satisfaction rate. To view illustrated examples of the software in action, follow Counterspherics on YouTube.