Starting a new business is promising and exciting for entrepreneurs. However, crises will challenge you as a business owner and decision-maker. In this article, Vinod Ramchandra Jadhav shares crisis management tips you can apply when the inevitable emergencies present themselves in your business.
It is alluring to imagine yourself managing a healthy growing business, and the rewards are undoubtedly worth the effort. Entrepreneurs know, however, that it’s not always smooth sailing. Storms will arise, and being an effective leader is knowing what to do to guide your company through.
Acknowledge the crisis:
No progress toward solving a problem will happen until you recognize the situation and honestly assess the damage. Many small business owners’ instinct is to ignore a problem and hope it will self-correct. That doesn’t happen. Ignoring a problem will nearly always make it worse.
Certainly, it’s easier to say “stay calm” than to do it in the middle of an emergency, but panicking is the worst thing you can do when clear heads are needed to solve a problem. The ability to stay calm under pressure is largely the result of experience. Once you get past your first few “the sky is falling” emergencies, you learn that “this too will pass,” and you will get through it.
Identify the problem and take remedial action:
Surprisingly, identifying the real problem can be more complicated than you might think. It is often the symptoms or byproducts of the problem that come to the forefront as the immediate threat. For example, if your top-performing salesperson unexpectedly quits, the problem seems to be a real possibility of a significant drop in sales. But if you look closer, you may find the salesperson leaving is only the symptom of a deeper problem. Maybe there’s something wrong with your compensation package or hiring practices. Don’t just patch symptoms; look for root causes.
Be ready to learn:
One of the best ways to mitigate the effects of a negative situation is to turn it into a learning opportunity as soon as possible. The results of the crisis are what they are, and you often can’t change them, so immediately flip the mental switch in your mind that turns you into a learner. Start asking why at every turn. If you learn from it, even a bad situation will make you better in the end.
Have a plan:
This step requires some foresight. During the midst of a crisis is not the time to start developing a crisis management plan, but if you had started that process months or years ago, it would be serving you when you need it. There will be a crisis in your future, so start planning now. First, work through possible scenarios like a market crash, a fire, the loss of a business partner, or a financial setback. Then, write down your plan so that when the event, or something like it, happens, you can lean on the wisdom of your previous calmer moment.
Crises are inevitable, and the measure of a leader is their ability to first plan for potential problems and second to react appropriately at the moment of difficulty. Don’t let a good crisis be wasted; learn from it.
About Vinod Ramchandra Jadhav
A self-described first-generation entrepreneur, Mr. Vinod Ramchandra Jadhav is the Chairman of SAVA Group and Devtech M2M. With a career spanning over two decades, he is well-versed in marketing, sales, supply chain management, and regulatory and corporate affairs in various capacities. Mr. Jadhav holds a diploma in Mechanical Engineering and a graduate degree in Materials Management.
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