If your business has a crisis of any kind, the reason why it's hard getting through it is usually due to a lack of planning. As your business grows, there will be many situations that can put you at risk - from a bad review to technology failures and more. If you’re not ready to deal with these crises right away, it can spell trouble for your business.
Here are some common mistakes you'll want to avoid.
No Crisis Plan in Place
The very first thing any business owner should have is a plan for any crisis that can happen. Whether it’s ensuring you have backups in the case of a server crash, or insurance in the case of an act of God, or a plan in place for PR in the event of a social crisis – all of it can ensure that your business and you make it through it intact.
Putting Your Head in the Sand
This often happens, especially if it has something to do with an embarrassing situation, an illegal situation, or a monetary situation. People just put it on the back burner and ignore it, hoping it will go away. The problem is, this never works. Not dealing with a crisis ensures the worst will happen.
Not Actively Managing the Issue
If you have plans in place for various types of issues, you will be able to actively get on top of almost any situation to mitigate the damage. However, if you have not made plans and you’re putting your head in the sand, this means that you’re allowing someone else to narrate your story.
Letting One Person Speak for You
If you have a larger business with more than one person in it, it can often happen that one person is tasked with dealing with all the bad news. This is not a good idea. Instead, get everyone who is seen as part of your business to speak out about it. You may need to offer training to enable them to do so in an open, honest, and transparent way.
Forgetting the Importance of All Stakeholders
Aside from customers, you have other stakeholders who want to know about issues as soon as possible. They may be people in your home, your family, or who work with and or for you. They may be investors too. Whoever they are, you need to work up a system to get the right message to each segment of your audience.
Overconfidence in Your Reputation
Sometimes it’s tempting, especially if the crisis is fabricated, to just ignore it. After all, you know that you’re innocent, and you believe no one will buy it anyway because your reputation is golden. Sadly, today this is often untrue. Your best bet is to speak out the moment an issue comes up, in an honest, open, and transparent manner.
Not Willing to Listen to Critics
The worst thing anyone can do is surround themselves with "yes people." A person who will never offer any contrary opinion to yours is not safe to work with. You need people who challenge you, and your critics are the people to listen to – even if you disagree. It can help you with your messaging.
The best thing you can do for your business is to write down a list of types of crises that can happen. Then set up a response system for every kind of situation so that you’ll know what to do. If you have a process in place, you won’t be caught off guard and be unable to get ahead of any type of crisis.