Small Business Bulletin for making more progress in less time.

Crisis Management Skill

Crisis management as a means to fail proof your business may be defined as an event or process that threatens to harm or close down a business. It includes the following three elements

1. Threat to the organization

2. Element of surprise

3. Short decision time

I have written about this topic here and here previously, therefore I will not rehash an overview of crisis management, but rather I will focus on practical skills and processes needed in order to lessen the blow of crisis events.

You must accept a few ideas, namely that:

1. You must accept that there is strong likelihood that your organization will face a crisis at some point.

2. You must believe you can ready yourself for these events and in doing so fail proof your business.

3. You must devote proactive time to deciding and implementing how you will deal with the crisis events.

The first step on your to do list for crisis management is to assess the possible impact of risk on your business. Sit down and make a list of potential crisis that could occur from natural disasters to a major player at your company falling ill.

Once you have this list rank it in order of likelihood. There will not be anything on the list with high likelihood or it wouldn’t be a crisis. So as an example is it more likely someone will fall ill or that a tornado will destroy your warehouse? Get it. Make the list and rank the items on it based upon your belief in the probability of it occurring.

Second, take this list and provide a number next to each item that denotes the impact it would have on your day to day operations. You can use whatever scale you like, in my worksheet I use 1 to 5. The idea here is to consider what implications an events occurrence would have on your ability to continue operations. For example if your data center is destroyed by fire what impact will this have on your operations? When performing this exercise it is important to keep the client and/or customer in mind. Will a crisis event create a situation where you cannot keep your terms within a given contract or service agreement etc?

Finally, after entering the probability of a crisis event and then rating the significance of that event on a scale of 1 to 5 with 1 being the worst event. The worksheet below will provide you with our proprietary Crisis Management True Risk Ranking.

You can download the worksheet here.

Our next post in the series how to fail proof your business will deal with step 2 in preparing your business to be crisis management ready. It essentially discusses what you should do with the information you ascertain from the True Risk Rank.

Jeff Green

Owner and President of Green Thoughts Consulting, LLC. I am passionate about helping small business owners grow and automate thier business and/or offering so they can do more of what they love and less of the rest. I am an MBA graduate with years of management and small business experience.