How to handle crisis situations at your small business

There’s an old adage that recommends that people hope for the best and plan for the worst. The saying is particularly salient for entrepreneurs and is in and of  itself a good piece of advice for managing your small business. After all, crisis situations of all kinds can arrive at any time. Small businesses in particular don’t have the economies of scale to weather external shocks or internal drama. Having a plan in place to handle crisis situations before they crop up could mean a great deal to your small business’ success. Here are some tips on how to handle crisis situations.

Gather the team and maintain perspective
Anytime a crisis occurs, an inevitable consequence is the finger pointing that goes on immediately afterwards. While finding the source of the crisis is important to forestall future problems of this magnitude from occurring, assigning blame is often simply an excuse to relieve the pressure from yourself. According to Evok Advertising, strong leadership during crisis situations requires the maintenance of continuity and unity among your team members. Pointing fingers is ultimately a fruitless exercise that will only cause chaos and open hostility among your employees.

Tell the whole truth
Denials or disingenuous attempts at hiding the truth will only make you and your company look that much more guilty. Sometimes, it is better simply to confess to the crisis and your company’s culpability. According to Yahoo Small Business, being the first one to admit the truth about the situation will empower you and your company to take control of the crisis situation by controlling the spin. Of course, unfavorable facts that have nothing to do with the crisis are better avoided. However, don’t get yourself in more trouble by lying about one thing that eventually leads to a whole web of lies.

Too many cooks spoil the broth
When a crisis situation erupts, the local media will undoubtedly attempt to get to the bottom and uncover as much dirt as they can. Assign one person at your company to be the spokesperson and implement a strict gag order on the rest of your employees. Too many people speaking publicly could complicate the situation. Additionally, your other employees might not have the full picture of what is going on and say something erroneous.

How has your small business handled crisis situations in the past?

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Chelsea Segal

Chelsea Segal

Chelsea Segal is the CEO of Targetwise. TARGETWISE empowers agencies, brands + marketers with results-oriented solutions that grow, nurture + maintain a social ecosphere.

Neutralizing all digital channels, we accelerate performance by applying data driven optimizationin real-time across a superior blend of mobile, video,display and email inventory. Converting the right people at the right time, we drive brand solutions, while securing optimal impact, engagement + results.
Chelsea Segal