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Crisis Management - Key Tips

  • Blog
  • 16 October 2015

Preparing for the worst

One of the most crucial aspects of owning your own business is to ensure you are fully prepared if disaster should strike. Fires, floods, serious illness or severe weather can all have a huge impact on the normal day-to-day operation of your firm. Follow these simple tips to make sure you can deal effectively with a crisis and maintain the best possible level of functioning until the situation is rectified.

Crisis Management - Key Tips

Prepare a Battle Box

At the Federation of Small Businesses, we believe this to be one of the most important pieces of kit in your crisis armoury. In a secure container, kept off-site, gather together copies of key documents vital to your business. These should include full contact details for staff, clients and suppliers as well as key banking and insurance information. An inventory of all office equipment and some headed stationery are also useful. USBs or back-up disks will allow you to access information wherever you are. Don't forget spare keys and alarm codes, and a camera to document any damage is also a good idea. Check the box every six months, updating the contents as necessary.

Source a Location

If your usual premises are unusable, it is useful to have a back-up option. If your business is spread over several locations, you may be able to temporarily work in another office space. Alternatively, you may need to ask staff to work from home until you can make alternative arrangements. Renting a short-term office space may also be an option.

Prepare Your Staff

It is essential that all members of the team are familiar with how to proceed in case of an emergency. Not only should you regularly practise evacuation and fire drills, but you should also ensure that if there is a crisis, every single member of staff is clear on what their responsibilities are. Always make sure that there is a secondary employee trained to cover these should the primary member of staff be unable to carry out their duties. Check too that your staff have all the access to servers and email they need should it be necessary for them to work remotely.

Essential Supplies

Your off-site battle box should have everything you need in order to get your business up and running after an emergency, but you should also keep some essential supplies on-site for when disaster strikes. Have a grab-bag ready with all vital contact details. A torch, first-aid kit, spare keys and charged mobile phone are also useful.

Communicate Effectively

To maintain the smooth running of your operation, make sure everyone affected by the disaster is kept in the information loop. Staff should be contacted and advised of the situation so they know where they should be and what they are expected to do. Contact suppliers to cancel or make alternative delivery arrangements. Most importantly, if service to your clients or customers will be interrupted, let them know and arrange to fulfil contracts as soon as you are able.

Effective preparation before a crisis occurs ensures you will be as equipped as possible to deal with any disasters that arise, and it allows your business to continue to function.

FSB Business Continuity from FSB

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