In times of intense difficulty, an entrepreneur needs to how to deal with a crisis to move the business forward. Indeed, a crisis affects the reputation of your company and puts the very existence of your business at risk. Facebook, for instance, took a substantial hit from the data privacy scandal that involved the unauthorized collection and use of users data from Cambridge Analytica. The UK-based data company has since shut down, as a result of their misconduct and failure to deal with the crisis. Facebook, for now, is still running and, despite criticism, has not yet run out of users. It’s only through the actions of Mark Zuckerberg – who appeared in front of the European Parliament recently – and through the statements published by the company to its users that the social media giant could save itself – for now. Indeed, Facebook has proven that in crisis, your reaction can make a great deal of difference.
Does it impact on your customers?
What happens when your business crisis affects your customers, such as Facebook’s infamous data breach scandal? Time is of the essence: You need to act quickly before the press can get hold of the information. In other words, your company has to verify and analyze the information available so that you can control the situation by organizing a press conference or a public statement. While your customers want to see an apology, they are also concerned about the future of their relationship with your business. That’s precisely why going public with a statement apologizing to your audience and explaining how you intend to sort out the issue can help you to tilt the balance in your favor.
Does it slow down your productivity?
Frictions in your processes can slow down your turnaround. While it may not be noticeable at first, in times of crisis when your business needs to be quick and reactive, frictions can be at their worst. The manufacturing industry has long established a method of lean manufacturing, where every interaction and process involved in the production is analyzed and optimized. If you choose to master lean methods, you can also discover that most of these tips can be repurposed in the office environment. The key is to be able to identify where your company is wasting time so that you can propose new solutions to target the issue. As a rule of the thumb, transparent communication, activity-based workplaces and knowledge sharing are helpful tools to solve a crisis.
Does it affect your employees?
Last, but not least, discrimination and unprofessional behaviors can affect your employees in the workplace. As a business owner, it’s your role to understand the HR crisis and to take an informed decision with the support of relevant experts. You can’t decide if you don’t evaluate the situation first – if the threatening behavior wasn’t previously known, there might be other options than termination, for instance – and take into consideration the stories of everyone involved. Ultimately, negative behavior in the workplace can be caused by a variety of factors. Removing one employee doesn’t always solve the crisis.
Nobody likes a crisis situation. But, in the business world, the ability to handle a disaster effectively can ensure that there will be no lasting consequences. In short, it’s time to bite the crisis bullet directly.