One of the biggest concerns that business owners have is dealing with a legal or business crisis. Whether it is a lawsuit, a data breach, or other sensitive issues, a crisis can greatly impact a business. In fact, it is not unusual for many businesses to close within a year of experiencing a crisis. Knowing how to properly manage a business crisis can make all the difference in saving your company from bankruptcy or other legal liability. In this blog post, we’ll discuss some helpful tips on how to deal with a legal or business crisis.
- Be prepared. The old Boy Scout adage means you are in a state of readiness. Don’t wait for a crisis to happen before you start thinking about a crisis plan. Develop a plan of action now, and regularly review and update it. Outline the steps you would take if different types of crisis happen, and be sure to include instructions for your team. This will help to ensure that your business can respond quickly and effectively in the event of a crisis. In my experience few businesses are genuinely prepared.
- Communicate clearly. Work to communicate with your employees, customers, suppliers, and other stakeholders regularly. During a crisis, it is important to provide updates about the situation and what you are doing to manage it. Be transparent about the impact of the crisis on your business and what you plan to do to mitigate any negative impact. Having a communications/public relations team in place for the situation is important.
- Stay calm. During a crisis, emotions can run high, and it is easy to make rash decisions. This is why it is important to stay calm and level-headed. Your team will look to you for guidance and leadership. Avoid making decisions based on fear or anger, and take the time to think through all your options before making a decision. Stay in the present. Determine the steps to help get you out of the crisis and concentrate fully on those steps.
- Seek legal advice. A legal crisis can be particularly damaging to your business reputation and financial footing. It is essential to seek legal advice during any legal crisis. An experienced attorney can offer expert guidance on how to manage the situation, protect your business interests and reduce any negative impacts. Look for an experienced lawyer who is willing to make tough decisions and the ability to work under time pressure. Believe it or not, this can be difficult for some lawyers. Many lawyers are unwilling to share an opinion out of fear the answer is wrong. You should hire a lawyer who has the ability to give clear and actionable advice.
- Learn from the crisis. Once the crisis has passed, it is essential to go back and review what happened and how you dealt with the situation. This should include an honest evaluation of what went wrong and what you could have done better. Use your findings to improve your crisis management plan, so you’re better equipped to deal with any future crisis.
A legal or business crisis can happen to any business. But how you deal with it can be the difference between the business failing and succeeding. To deal with a legal or business crisis, ensure to be prepared, communicate clearly, stay calm, seek legal advice, and learn from the situation. With a solid plan in place, you’ll have the tools you need to help protect your company’s reputation, finances, and future.