A Crisis Plan for Your Business

Each potential crisis is as unique as the business it could happen to. Google defines crisis as “a time of intense difficulty, trouble, or danger.” Location, operations, personnel, business plans, and other factors can have a significant impact on what a crisis means to you and your business.
June 13, 2017 | Retail
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Katrina Cravy: Crisis Communication Plan

Having a crisis communication plan for your business is crucial, but what should you have in yours? Communication expert, Katrina Cravy, walks you through some best practices to help you create a crisis communication plan for your business.
By: Sarah B.
Sarah B. came to Acuity this year with a background in retail. She studied Interior Architecture in college and completed an online business education program through Harvard Business School. She also has a wide range of commercial insurance experience and has earned her Associate in General Insurance (AINS), Associate in Insurance Services (AIS), and Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) designations. This made her the perfect addition to the Acuity Mercantile team. If she could travel anywhere in the world, she would return to Italy. She spent three weeks there during college studying architecture and design and has wanted to go back ever since.

Each potential crisis is as unique as the business it could happen to. Google defines crisis as “a time of intense difficulty, trouble, or danger.” Location, operations, personnel, business plans, and other factors can have a significant impact on what a crisis means to you and your business.

 

While it may be the last thing you want to focus on as you work to serve and meet your customers' needs, you should plan for a crisis, as it will ensure your business will be around long-term.

 

To begin your crisis plan, start with one of the most common crises for businesses that have a physical location—a fire. What is at risk if a fire completely destroys the building?

 

  • Priority number one is human life. Do you have an escape plan? Have you communicated it to all your employees, and is it posted for customers should they need it?

 

  • If your building is destroyed, all the information you have there will be lost. Do you have important information stored in a secondary location so you can access it in a crisis? Employee contact information, financial information, key operating information, tax documents, vendor information, and customer information are all examples of important information that should be backed up at a secure secondary location.

 

  • You should have property insurance with full building replacement cost coverage, so you can rest easy knowing your building and contents will be replaced by your insurance company. In addition, business income coverage can be added to your property policy to pay for continuing expenses and income while your business is being repaired. 

 

Once you have a crisis plan in place for one type of emergency, you can adapt it for others, such as weather-related crises. If your business has key employees, would losing one of them be a crisis? If your answer is yes, that would require the development of another type of crisis plan.

 

Having multiple locations, more than one supply chain, a secure back-up system, a diversified and cross-trained team, internally transparent operating procedures, and open lines of communication are all things that could help in the time of a crisis, but nothing ensures your business will survive a crisis more than planning ahead.

 

Check out these resources to help you in your crisis planning:

The 10 Steps of Crisis Communications

Crisis Communications Plan

By: Sarah B.
Sarah B. came to Acuity this year with a background in retail. She studied Interior Architecture in college and completed an online business education program through Harvard Business School. She also has a wide range of commercial insurance experience and has earned her Associate in General Insurance (AINS), Associate in Insurance Services (AIS), and Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) designations. This made her the perfect addition to the Acuity Mercantile team. If she could travel anywhere in the world, she would return to Italy. She spent three weeks there during college studying architecture and design and has wanted to go back ever since.