Crisis, it happens when you least expect. The $200 flower arrangement you spent hours on was destroyed. The hand-painted details on their ten tier wedding cake aren't the exact shade of Tiffany blue the bride wanted. There is an emergency in your own family, but you are obligated to help someone else.
Too many times businesses are faced with a crisis and don't know how to handle it. They have no plan in place, so when crisis does strike, they are left with the short end of the stick.
The first thing you can do to help you out when a crisis strikes is have a plan. This may sound like something only large corporations, or the government needs, but even a small business can benefit. Your plan can include the small stuff- like what to do when you need to replace the $200 arrangement in a short amount of time. This will let you have a backup plan, and then a backup for the backup plan. Also, include plans for a bigger crisis, like a shop fire or family emergency. Include a list of people you should contact (customers, employees, news media, etc.). For more information on making your plan, check out Ready.gov.
A crisis in a world of its own...The unsatisfied customer. You've done everything to please them and it still isn't quite right. Now you face a different type of crisis-a bad review or reference. Small businesses usually thrive due to the references they receive. With little room for a marketing budget, word of mouth and social media play a huge role in getting your name out there and reputation is important. Whatever the case, a sincere apology can go a long way. See if there is anything you can do to make things right, and go the extra mile to demonstrate your dedication to excellent customer service.
A crisis doesn't have to become a catastrophe. During a crisis situation, no matter how big or small, the most important thing to remember is to stay as calm as possible. Face the situation head-on with a clear mind. Creating a crisis plan can help you do this. When you are prepared, you are able to focus on what has to be done instead of wondering where to start.