crisis management plan

Crisis management planning should be done by all businesses

January 29, 2013
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crisis management plan

Writing a crisis management plan

You wrote a business plan for the success of your business. Now it’s time to write a crisis management plan to bolster your company’s response to moments of crisis.

It is worth asking the question, “What is considered a crisis?” There are a number of potential ways to answer that, but customize the answer for your business by asking yourself this question: What are the components of my company that make it function smoothly?

A crisis is a moment when one of those components ceases to function properly with the potential of harming your company in some significant way.

For some, the primary components of your company may be sales, marketing, and customer service. For another, it may be raw materials, facilities, manufacturing, and fulfillment. Some companies rely heavily on social media and others do not need to include that in a crisis management plan at all.

Three perspectives to cover

There are several methods an expert in crisis management planning might utilize to help your company prepare, but there are some basic steps you can take yourself by analyzing each critical component of your business from three perspectives.

  1. Pre-crisis – What are the steps you can take to minimize the risk of each component failing?
  2. Crisis Event – When a component does fail or meets a significant challenge, how can you most quickly get the component functioning fully again? How will you keep the failure of that component from harming other areas of the company?
  3. Post-crisis – How could you have improved your response to the crisis event and how can you better monitor the signals that a crisis may be coming going forward?

Planning is the key to minimizing the risk of crisis and to diminishing the severity and duration of a crisis that does occur. In a fraction of the time it may have taken you to write your business plan, you can create a document that goes a long way toward protecting you and your investors from the damage of a crisis event.



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Tip: Google “crisis management plans” and “[your industry]” for existing plans companies have published online.

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David Holmes, owner of Intrepid Solutions, has over 20 years experience planning for, avoiding, and solving crises in the public policy, political, and private sectors. David is also a professional mediator and has worked in the Texas music scene.

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