It’s only March and so far 2020 has been a fierce year. January’s feeds were load by posts about the potential start of World war III. February and March as well has being centered around the worldwide pandemic of COVID-19. Businesses of all sizes and industries are foreseen opportunities to overcome the months ahead, wherever may come. As Entrepreneurs, we are not not far from this reality. We make decisions with breakneck speed. We rethink the rules constantly.
However crisis are usually times when we need to take a step back, slow down—and think it through more carefully than usual—especially during those rare times of national, even global crisis.
What follows are 5 initiatives to keep going in doing business with dignity, integrity and ethics during times of crisis. – Please keep in mind that this is a work in progress.
1. Be adaptable – it’s one of the benefits of entrepreneurship
Adapting to changing conditions is an essential part of running your life — and your business. You may not be a fan of developing a quick new product or service, but if that’s the way you are fulfilling a need, can you afford to be left behind? As an entrepreneur, you should realize from the beginning that where you are is probably not where you’ll end up. Change happens so often and quickly for entrepreneurs. Crisis just accelerate this process more.
2. Endure Through Creative Thinking
Creative Thinking simply means being able to come up with something new. Therefore, creative thinking is the ability to consider something – a conflict between employees, a data set, a group project – in a new way. It’s being oriented to fix problems and get revenue for that.
3. Partnering. Community. Belonging
Business collaborations and arrangements collaborations are most of the time a good idea. However in times of crisis they are a Must. It is critical to identify those potential partners and design survival offers. Reach your customers with helpful emails, extended warranties, ”grace to pay later”, accommodations, etc. Let the community know that we are in this together. Also be mindful of customers and clients that may be more severe affected.
4. Avoid Newsjacking
Newsjacking is the practice of capitalizing on breaking news to promote your company’s products or services. Just No. Period.
5. Create a Crisis Plan
Use these strategies to create your own business crisis plan. Let’s face it, when crisis strikes we’re not always thinking clearly. Having a plan with a full checklist of the many things to consider ensures that business is carried out appropriately—and with humanity.
As part of the planning process you should:
- Identify potential crises that might affect you
- Determine how you intend to minimise the risks of these disasters occurring
- Set out how you’ll react if a disaster occurs in a business continuity plan.
- Test the plan regularly
The Canada Business Network has published a Guide of How to develop a Crisis management Plan. Check the list below
Crises that could affect your business
Depending on your business’ specific circumstances, there are many possible events that might constitute a crisis:
- Natural disasters – for example, flooding caused by burst water pipes or heavy rain, or wind damage following storms.
- Theft or vandalism – theft of computer equipment, for instance, could prove devastating. Similarly, vandalism of machinery or vehicles could not only be costly but also pose health and safety risks.
- Fire – few other situations have such potential to physically destroy a business.
- Power cut – loss of power could have serious consequences. What would you do if you couldn’t use IT or telecoms systems or operate other key machinery or equipment?
- IT system failure – computer viruses, attacks by hackers or system failures could affect employees’ ability to work effectively.
- Loss or illness of key staff – if any of your staff is central to the running of your business, consider how you would cope if they were to leave or be incapacitated by illness.
- Outbreak of disease or infection – depending on your type of business an outbreak of an infectious disease among your staff, in your premises or among livestock could present serious health and safety risks.
- Crises affecting suppliers – how would you source alternative supplies?
- Crises affecting customers – will insurance or customer guarantees offset a client’s inability to take your goods or services?
- Crises affecting your business’ reputation – how would you cope, for example, in the event of a product recall?
Though some of these scenarios may seem unlikely, it’s prudent to give them consideration.