Coronavirus. How businesses must be prepared to manage a Crisis
Unfortunate tragic events, such as the current spread of the Coronavirus, will continue to happen. In such a connected world, the speed and impact of any major crisis are wide-reaching and can be extremely difficult to manage.
I wanted to share a few things taken from my experiences of dealing with crises within a business in the hope that it can help others. It is not taken from a crisis management textbook, and most of it is common sense, but that is what sometimes can get missed when such events occur.
Panic and make knee jerk reactions immediately when a crisis arises
Overthink how to manage a crisis and prepare for every eventuality that may never happen
Engage with your customers and stakeholders until the business has agreed on an appropriate action plan
Risk asses your company so you are fully aware of areas where a crisis would most likely occur
Identify, assess and understand any crisis before creating an appropriate plan of action
Have a nominated Crisis Management Team set up to deal with such a situation and effective emergency communications in place. It can be as simple as creating a WhatsApp group
Talk to trusted colleagues and businesses for advice before acting, many of them would have been through a similar experience and know what to do
Create a strategic communication plan for all stakeholders
Ensure that your business activities are not reliant upon single suppliers or services wherever possible (not putting all your eggs in one basket!)
Learn from a crisis. Most businesses will find that at the end of crisis they will have learned valuable lessons that will improve their business practices