5 Strategies to Plan Ahead of a Business Crisis

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Today, much than 2 years aft nan world onset of nan Covid-19 pandemic, it seems galore businesses are yet starting to spot nan ray (or astatine slightest much light) astatine nan extremity of nan tunnel. Many of them person faced a business situation and someway managed to survive.

At nan aforesaid time, wellness officials are already trying to get up of nan adjacent pandemic whenever it whitethorn hap because 1 thing’s certain: It will occur.

As Matthew Bayliss, a Liverpool University professor and nan head of nan city’s caller Pandemic Institute, told nan Financial Times, being prepared intends “expecting and rigorously readying for nan expected.”

5 Strategies For Creating A Business Crisis Plan

As nan laminitis of an online shape business, I was fortunate to person a business that was readily adaptable to galore of nan pandemic-related activity changes—like surges successful telecommuting and online retail. Still, thing could person prepared maine for nan effect of nan pandemic, and I wasn’t alone.

A 2020 study recovered that only 12% of businesses reported emotion highly prepared for nan effect of nan coronavirus pandemic.

To hole yourself and your business, present are 5 expert-backed strategies for creating a business situation scheme and building resilience for immoderate nan early holds.

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1. Rethink Your Mindset

It’s difficult not to spot nan Covid-19 pandemic arsenic an aberration—an interruption of business arsenic usual. While a definite grade of daze and disappointment are inevitable, viewing a situation arsenic an anomaly tin besides wounded your expertise to accommodate and move forward.


Because you tally nan consequence of getting caught up successful nan what-ifs – what if this had ne'er happened? What if we had done thing differently?– alternatively than focusing connected “what now?”

Harvard Business Review recommends a shift successful mindset to thief your institution go much resilient:

“View crises arsenic inevitable disruptions to beryllium prepared for, managed, and leveraged for competitory opportunity, alternatively than infrequent one-off events to beryllium defended against advertisement hoc. Such a displacement will thief nan statement to make proactive and future-oriented decisions during a situation that let it to thrive successful and style nan post-crisis landscape.”

Like accounting aliases yearly worker retreats aliases immoderate different regular business operation, situation readying tin go portion of your regularly scheduled programming.

2. Create a Communication Strategy (or Various Strategies) Ahead of Time

When a situation inevitably occurs, arsenic a leader, your first privilege is assuring your labor and customers that your business has a grip connected things.

One important norm of thumb: create a communication strategy (or aggregate strategies) up of time. Take it from agriculture experts who are well-versed successful regularly readying for crises—like earthy disasters that swipe retired full crops.

Jim Schweigert, president of Gro Alliance, told Seed World:

“You don’t commencement situation connection erstwhile you person a crisis. It really should beryllium portion of your business readying strategy from time one.”

At Gro Alliance, Schweigert and his squad transportation retired exercises called script planning. During nan yearly guidance squad meeting:

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“he and his squad talk what would hap if nan manufacture went successful a definite direction—that way, they tin representation retired responses to each scenario, including nan task leader successful complaint of employees, clients, and suppliers.”

Choose a recurring arena wherever your guidance squad tin return nan clip to locomotion done various situation scenarios and outline a connection scheme for each.

3. Consider Appointing a Chief Security Officer

Harvard Business Review contributor Juliette Kayyem spent years training and advising companies connected disaster management. She says that nan positioning of nan main information domiciled wrong an statement is simply a captious portion of being prepared for a crisis.

While galore companies, and startups, successful particular, person much precocious created outer information teams (with names for illustration “trust advisory boards”), Kayyem recommends appointing a information leader arsenic a imperishable and salient portion of your organization.

After nan violent attacks connected 9/11, Kayyem writes, galore companies hired main information officers, and thereafter, different C-roles proliferated, specified arsenic main accusation information officers, and much recently, main aesculapian aliases wellness officers.

“Though each of those C-roles are focused connected different threats, a leader’s consequence is going to beryllium fundamentally nan aforesaid whether it’s an progressive shooter, earthquake, cyber breach, aliases virus: Execute a plan, minimize nan impact, and lead nan company.”

A azygous domiciled is needed to oversee each of these efforts.

Creating a main information serviceman role, if it doesn’t beryllium already, is an effective measurement to reassure your customers. Take GitHub: Last year, erstwhile they hired their first main information officer, Mike Hanley, they published a blog station astir it to pass to nan world this important information step.

Hanley wrote, “I’m excited to activity pinch nan squad and nan organization to guarantee that GitHub continues to lead arsenic nan astir trustworthy location for developers, ecosystems, and teams to travel together and create.”

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All of nan important stakeholders—users, employees, partners, etc.—will consciousness much assured knowing that your institution is being actively protected moreover earlier a situation strikes.

4. Push Yourself to Think Long-Term

A situation occurs—for example, a microorganism that brings nan full world, including your business, to a standstill. What now?

Your first intuition whitethorn beryllium to spell into triage mode and attraction each of your efforts connected stopping nan bleeding. But arsenic counterintuitive and challenging arsenic it whitethorn seem, focusing connected semipermanent outcomes alternatively than short-term solutions is cardinal to surviving a crisis.

At Jotform, we continued to create caller features and apps that we thought would amended service our existing and early users complete nan agelong term. For example, we released our Store Builder app because we realized that 1 retired of each 3 apps created done Jotform already included costs forms.

Or return Henrik Ekelund, Founder, and CEO of BTS Group successful Sweden. In 2020, Ekelund knew his company, a world consultancy for in-person workshops, would return a superior hit. His strategy for getting his business done nan situation whitethorn person raised immoderate eyebrows.

As he told nan World Economic Forum:

“We committed to keeping 100% of our 1,200 group employed pinch nary net cuts, we pivoted our business to digital, switched income strategy, and built a large reserve of rate by postponing dividends, bonuses, and taking loans.”

You’re astir apt wondering: what was nan result?

Ekelund said that moreover though they initially mislaid 70% of their revenue, 2021 became a caller grounds year, pinch a 20% summation successful gross and profit compared to 2019.

Long-term thinking during a situation tin make your institution not conscionable much resilient but much profitable than ever.

5. Improve Society’s Resilience

During nan pandemic, a microorganism wasn’t nan only large-scale unit impacting businesses. Another was nan emergence of societal justness movements.

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As I’ve written before, we’re surviving successful a clip of upheaval. Many group are wished to make nan world a amended place. As business owners, we should expect this benignant of activism. We tin besides do what we tin to support it.

Harvard Business Review authors explain:

“Business [needs] to play a domiciled successful larger issues beyond accepted firm boundaries. Leaders should look to trim nan volatility and fragility of nan systems and societies connected which they depend, reinforcing nan societal cloth done efforts for illustration reducing polarization, optimizing for some societal and business value, and reimagining business models for sustainability.”

You mightiness beryllium wondering: what tin my institution do to help?

Tap into your business’s strengths and commencement there.

Becoming much sustainable, championing diversity, and aiding causes that trim inequality will amended societal resilience. And helping to make nine much resilient will yet thief our businesses thrive, too.

Final Thoughts

As entrepreneurs, we should already beryllium expecting and rigorously readying for nan adjacent institution crisis, whether it’s brought connected by a virus, a war, aliases a earthy disaster.

As history shows, crises inevitably happen, and businesses that don’t scheme for them go casualties to them.

Harvard Business Review precocious noted, “As we saw pinch Covid-19, much resilient businesses had amended outcomes, and immoderate moreover emerged arsenic caller winners.”

Resilience isn’t conscionable a endurance mechanism—it tin besides beryllium a concealed weapon.

Featured photograph credit: Pema Lama via unsplash.com

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