As you are probably already aware, e-commerce has changed how businesses work drastically. However, this hasn’t altered the fact that your company can face a wide variety of different kinds of crises. So, it is crucial that you are prepared for such an event.
You need to have a strategy just ready to be implemented as soon as your e-commerce business is in dire need of it.
Types of crises that can hit your company
The hardest crises of them all are when someone is injured, or worse when someone dies. These situations are very delicate and need to be approached in a proper way. It can be extremely hard if you lose a crucial employee, so the process of dealing with his death along with trying to find the right replacement can be a living hell.
Then, there are somewhat less serious issues such as situations that can seriously damage your reputation, viability, and in the end, of course, how much you are able to sell to your (now disgruntled) customer base. These can go from certain actions being completely misinterpreted, let’s say, in a way that may look like your company is intolerant towards a certain group of people or animals. Or, it may be something smaller, such as an event going completely awry.
Of course, there are also financial crises. There is a whole bunch of reasons why your company may end up having serious money issues. Sometimes it can be predicted, while other times it comes out of the blue, and makes things instantly very complicated for everyone.
Anticipate and determine your crisis communication team
First of all, you need to make a list of all those crises that might happen. Do this on an annual basis – make a list of at least 10 possible situations that can cause serious damage to your company. The next step is determining a crisis communication team and creating a contingency plan (also known as scenario plan) for each and every situation.
So, every crisis needs its own communications team which needs to include people such as executive leadership members, operational leaders or heads of particular departments, communicators, external support, and so on.
Have crisis messages ready to send out
According to the plans that you have made for each possible scenario, you need to come up with appropriate crisis messages way ahead before such a thing happens. They can all start with some kind of template in which you will tell everyone that you are aware of the situation and doing all that it is in your power to fix it. Also, let people know that you are going to keep them up to date as the situation unfolds.
Next, to being sensible and cautious, you also need to be as transparent as possible, so that no one doubts what you have to say. Your business needs to be the main source of information about what is going on, and you have to take full responsibility for what happened. It is important to take action as soon as possible.
If you wait longer than an hour, someone will already have a story of their own about what is going on, or people will simply feel like you are unprepared and unwilling to deal with the issue at hand.
What can cause a financial crisis?
Essentially, there are two main groups of causes that can lead to your company falling into a financial crisis.
The first group consists of personal causes. They vary from certain operational issues happening within your company to health problems, accidents, and other unexpected issues that are a matter of someone’s life and lead to unpredictable expenses that can make your business suffer greatly. Sometimes it can be simply the fact that your company is no longer as successful as it used to be, and is simply wiped out by your competition.
On the other hand, the reasons for a financial crisis can be of a global nature. The economy in the entire country may run into a brick wall and make a whole lot of businesses collapse, including your own. Debts can suddenly increase to the point that you can no longer cover them, the country’s central bank may have serious trouble handling the exchange rate, a whole lot of people might go for bank runs, fearing that they will lose money, and so on.
What can you do to survive a financial crisis?
There is a variety of solutions that you can implement in order to save your company from insolvency when a financial crisis strikes. First of all, you can plan way ahead by building an emergency fund. Make sure that you keep the amounts of about three to six months of your monthly income.
Save this money on a liquid account, so that you can use it right away without the need to pay fees or wait. No matter how long the crisis lasts, you will have the money and time to take action.
You can also do your best to decrease or eliminate all the debts that you have. Do this while you are still financially strong so that when problems arise, you are certain that you can cover the necessary payments. In the case that you end up in a situation where you can no longer pay the debts that are hanging over your head, it would be a good idea to think about the best kind of lenders that you can turn to.
If you are, for example from the Land Down Under, you should know that personal loans in Australia are a very plausible solution.
The fact is that a crisis can strike your business at any time, so you need to be ready for it. Someone in your company may get injured, or worse, pass away. An event can go completely wrong, and be misinterpreted in the eyes of your audience.
You may end up facing a financial crisis either because your operations have failed, or because the whole economy has fallen into a pit. Whatever the cause, it is essential to have the right strategy prepared, and act quickly.
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