Crisis preparation has never been more important, and as of 2020, more in the spotlight. Businesses caught unprepared by the Coronavirus pandemic have been exposed and subsequently have likely shut down. It is in your best interest to ensure that your contingencies cover as many possible crises as possible to ensure that your company always has a shot at surviving. Here are 5 planning tips that should help you accomplish that goal:
1. Persistent Marketing
Cutting costs during a crisis is a common strategy, and it can work. The problem is that companies tend to cut the wrong thing. For example, cutting down on marketing seems like a good idea, but doing so often leads to the business’s doom. Marketing is the only way a company can stay in the minds of their target audience, regardless of the exact crisis. Keep the advertising going, and your company will be in a position to move when the crisis ends.
2. Proper Accounting and Financial Management
When a country-wide or world-wide crisis hits, the company’s finances are the first to suffer. Unless your target market is uniquely insulated against the problem, you will likely find your market’s spending drop dramatically. You need to make sure that you have the resources and finances to survive that hit to your income. Additionally, your company needs to look into various forms of financial assistance, just in case your preparations fail to adequately brace you against the crisis.
3. Consider Your Employees
Sometimes, it will not matter how well prepared you are. The impact of a crisis on your company may require you to furlough or let go of a number of employees. You need to consider how you will recover your personnel after the crisis ends. If you are lucky, those same employees may be available for re-hiring afterward, but that will not always be the case. You need to have training procedures in place so any new hires you have can be onboarded as efficiently as possible.
4. Craft a Real Crisis Strategy
What works for your business when the situation is normal will almost certainly not work when a crisis is upon you. Top Wealth Advisor and Entrepreneur, Bruce K. Lee says, “You need a strategy that will keep your company competitive, each crisis will bring a different set of circumstances that will require a specific approach, so you cannot adopt a “one-size-fits-all” solution.”
To ensure you have as many bases as possible covered, you will need to craft multiple strategies that you can choose from depending on the crisis you face. Some crises will make your product obsolete, which means you need a strategy that can allow you to quickly develop new revenue streams. Other disasters will cut off your manufacturing processes, forcing you to have ways of producing your product so you can stay in the game. Making plans is, for the most part, free, so go ahead and devise as many strategies as you want.
5. Consider Your Partnerships and Alliances
Sometimes, the disaster you face will be so profound that you will need to reach out to other companies to get the help you need to survive. It is important to know which companies will be able or willing to extend you the aid you may need. More often than not, that willingness will come from a prior partnership or alliance. Knowing what support is available is critical in planning how you can deal with a crisis.
You should also remember that any aid should be mutual. Your allies are not there to exclusively help you. They may need your aid, and if your company is in a position to give that help, you should do so.
Proper planning is critical to surviving any crisis, large or small. Without a plan, your business will be caught flat-footed, and you will spend critical days or months putting together a strategy, which is time you may not have. Whenever you consider the effort too difficult to embark upon, consider that it is better to have a plan and not need it, than to need a plan to keep your company alive and not have one.