A Step-By-Step Guide to Managing a Business Crisis


Kate O'SullivanManaging Director at ADPR

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

The global pandemic has revealed the importance of crisis planning, with many businesses ill-prepared for such an unexpected event. However, the truth is that a crisis can always strike, and it doesn’t necessarily have to be on a global scale.

Article 2 Minutes
A Step-By-Step Guide to Managing a Business Crisis

It’s important to put in time and effort in advance so you’re prepared should a crisis occur. Here’s a look at the importance of crisis planning and how you can use it to effectively manage a business crisis.

Step 1: Identify what could go wrong

This sounds like a vast undertaking, but it’s important to get a sense of the potential problems you might face. Making this a team effort will help you cover as many areas as possible. Most issues that you might encounter can be divided into areas of the business, such as health and safety, finance or IT.

Step 2: Assign a crisis leader

If a crisis does occur, you need to have the right people in place to manage it. That’s why the next step in preparing for a business crisis is assigning a leader or leaders. They’ll be in charge of putting the plan into action and overseeing everything.

It’s worth considering more than one leader here as, depending on the size of your business, you may want to have a range of people with different skill sets in position to implement the plan in their particular area.

Step 3: Outline potential threats

The next step is to think about the threats that your business may encounter in the coming weeks, months or even years. Major events such as a global pandemic or financial crash will inevitably have a big impact on your business, but threats can also occur on a smaller scale. They can also be issues within your business, rather than external threats, so this is something important to consider.

Once you’ve identified some potential scenarios, you can then think about how you expect your business to be impacted by this, from the small scale to a worst-case scenario.

Step 4: Create an action plan

Once you’ve worked through the first three steps, you’ll be in a good position to create your crisis action plan. This will be the bulk of your work but it’s worth doing your research and putting the time and effort in here so that you’re thoroughly prepared for any crisis in the future.

The best thing is to keep the plan simple and clear. Once it becomes too complicated, it’ll be hard to enact when the time comes and may only cause more confusion. Your plan needs to be functional, practical and effective. By considering the risks and different scenarios, you’ll be on the right track to minimizing damage to your business.

Kate O'Sullivan

Managing Director at ADPR


Kate O’Sullivan is the Managing Director at ADPR, a PR agency who create and deliver bespoke, integrated and inspirational communications campaigns.


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