Originally Posted: 2009; Updated 3/2016 by Marty Dickinson
Your business crisis management skills can be called on at the most inconvenient times.
For example: You’re sitting down with family to enjoy a nice early evening dinner, when SUDDENLY…
A mudslide breaks through your wall and into your dining room.
Or an earthquake begins to shake your home.
Or the weight of an early season snowstorm snaps the largest, thickest branch on your 30 year-old maple tree and it comes crashing through your roof.
Take your pick. Disasters are happening all around. Who’s to say the same can’t happen in your business? Are you prepared for a true business crisis?
Here are three steps to help you be prepared in case crisis hits you on the business front.
Business Crisis Survival Tip #1:
Know What’s Important
If your house was caving in from a sudden mudslide, and you only had seconds to get out, what would you bring?
Your children? Your spouse?
Maybe a pair of shoes?
Now think about your business. What’s the single most important asset, process, document, program, prototype, customer you have?
What single thing would leave you completely shut down and unable to operate if it wasn’t at your side?
Know what’s truly important about your business and have a plan to keep it safe and take it with you no matter what happens.
Business Crisis Survival Tip #2:
Know When it’s Time to Get Out
Over just the past year, tens of thousands have lost their lives because of one natural disaster or another. For those who received warning that potential disaster was on its way, they were the fortunate ones able to choose between staying or fleeing now or later.
For some, the decision to get out saved their lives. For others, their fate was met.
A related feeling of hopelessness and confusion occurs when you launch a new product that just doesn’t seem to take the world, well, by storm.
I’ve had them. And, if you’ve been in business long enough, you’ve had them too.
One of the most difficult decisions we face as product producers or service providers is knowing when to remove an item from our inventory lineup.
Maybe that item has lost its luster or is cliche or “old school.” Or, maybe it’s just not selling and time to move on.
I can’t tell you exactly when the perfect time will be to dump a product that isn’t selling. But, a sure fire sign that it’s time to consider such an action is if YOU have lost the passion for promoting it.
You cannot pay anyone any sum of money to be as passionate about your offering as you are.
When the time is right, you’ll know when it’s time to get out of a destructive product or service. A key to long-term success is whether you’ll be able to let go and move on.
Business Crisis Survival Tip #3:
Always Have a Place to Go
Of all the sad stories of the recent tragedies, the one that gets to me most are the people who say they have no place to go.
If you’ve recently poured your heart and soul into a failing product or business and it’s been your only focus for months or even years, it could be time to develop a Plan B.
A Plan B should be developed whenever any new product or service is launched. You never know when you might have a winning opportunity to move your focus to an offshoot of your original plan.
The phenom successful t.v. show for almost 4 decades, All in the Family, had a miserable pilot show. But, the writers went back to the drawing board and created Plan B and produced a winner.
Did they completely start from scratch? No. They took pieces of the pilot format that worked and added other ideas rather than forcing their audience to accept the show as-is.
If your business (or a specific product or service) is in crisis, look inside what you offer for those things that DO work. You might be able to build a winner from pieces of a product or service that is not performing to your expectations.
Stay prepared for any business crisis that comes your way. For, it is not whether a crisis will happen within your business life cycle. It’s just a matter of time.
Will you be ready to manage your next business crisis? Join our LIFETIME FREE Here Next Year Web Marketing Club for tools and resources to prevent your next business crisis or help you through your next one.
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Marty Dickinson is the Here Next Year Web Marketing Club manager and author of Lions Always Win: How to Spot What You Want in Business and Life…and Get it Too!. Without knowing what you truly want, and the tools to get you there, your business is guaranteed to fail.