No matter how consistently excellent your customer service, or how mindful your employees, unfortunate situations can occur that have long-lasting negative consequences for your business. Having a plan in place to deal with potential threats to your brand can make all of the difference. That’s what crisis management is. The way an organization identifies and handles a threatening situation that can impact a company’s revenue, reputation, and moral. As a business owner it’s important to understand how to spot potential crises and know the best practices to address them. Read on to find out what crisis management is and the importance of effective crisis communication for your business.
A crisis, by definition is an event that’s expected to produce a dangerous or negative situation for a person, team, or organization. For a small business, a crisis is something that can happen internally or externally with potential to hurt the organization when not addressed correctly. The role of a crisis management consultant is to unveil possible threats that could and have yet to occur and help create a plan to address them. They are the protectors and guardians, if you will, of the company’s reputation, it’s investors, and all who are affiliated with the business.
Let’s say for example that you are a small business owner with plans for opening a second location this year. You’d like to maintain the wonderful reputation your company has within your community, so you hire a crisis management consultant to help. In this situation the consultant would help you brainstorm possible crises that could happen with opening the new location. For instance, let’s say the new location is in close proximity to a lake or natural resource. A potential crisis could arise from an environmental group making public accusations about your new location’s construction polluting the area. The crisis management consultant would expect and plan for these types of situations so that you aren’t blindsided with negative comments and press and now how to handle it.
Similar to insurance, you may not always use it but you’re relieved to know you have it when something does occur. This gives you, the business owner, peace of mind knowing you’re prepared to take on any situation with a logical and systematic approach.
Outsourcing to a crisis management consultant for your business can be helpful for many reasons. An outsider can objectively identify potential crises you may not see and give you the necessary tools to tackle these threats clearly and effectively. In addition, crises can cause emotions to run high so hiring someone who specializes in crisis management that’s not directly involved can be very helpful. A consultant can help create a plan and carry it out for you, or equip you with the tools to address it yourself. Every business and crisis is different which means each solution is different and tailored to that specific brand and threat. Crisis management consultants are not always able to prevent a crisis from happening, but they can help lessen the blow and provide consistency in reputation and perception.
Can you think of potential crises or threats your organization might someday face?