There will be times when things go desperately wrong in your business. One minute, everything is humming along beautifully, the next, you’re staring at what looks like the end of your business as you know it.
In these situations, it’s a good idea to know what you need to do before they happen. Since it is inevitable that something will go seriously wrong at some point, preparing now is essential.
Keep It Light
When things go wrong, the temptation is to panic and take everything very seriously. You begin to sweat and your heart starts racing. Observing this, your entire team starts to feel the heat. They begin sharing in your distress.
That’s why it’s often a good idea to smile when things go wrong. If the sky is falling down and there’s not much you can do about it, getting stressed isn’t going to help. In fact, it could damage your ability to respond.
Keep things light. Communicate with colleagues in a state of calm confidence, and always maintain your perspective. You knew going into business that the risks were high. Things that go wrong should be part of the territory.
Gather The Facts
The next thing to do is to gather the facts to try to figure out what went wrong. In most real-life situations, this should be quite easy. Perhaps an order didn’t come through or the power went out. However, in the IT realm, it can be a little more difficult. You may need to speak to a cybersecurity professional for a full brief.
When crises are in full-swing, the aim isn’t to apportion blame or make anyone stand trial for their failures. Rather, all you need to do at this stage is find out what happened. That’s your main priority.
If you confront your colleagues or behave aggressively, they’ll recoil from you. Furthermore, that can make it difficult to actually find out what went wrong and fix it.
Just ask questions calmly to get to the bottom of what happened. Reassure employees that they can speak to you freely.
Double Check That It Is Actually A Problem
It’s human nature to worry about the future and imagine problems where there aren’t any. That’s why it’s always a good idea to double check whether the crisis is actually a problem. If it’s not, then you can move on from the disaster and just forget about it. Sometimes you’ll find that your colleagues have made incorrect assumptions, and what they think is bad actually isn’t.
Lastly, if there really is a problem, don’t dither. Take action to resolve it immediately. In almost all situations, immediate damage mitigation is better than waiting.
Ideally, you’ll have planned for the eventuality that is now unfolding before you can put contingencies in place fast. If you don’t have a plan ready to go, expedite your decision-making process. Get all your senior people in a room, listen to their advice and inputs, then make a decision. Make sure you understand the problem you face before charging in and doing something reckless.