Let a positive crisis never be ruined. If you are an owner of small business, you know how severe crises. Suddenly, the business keeps stopping income. You no longer have rules, techniques and rituals you depend on. And you are a clever and courageous visionary. You’re just about to lose your business, but you don’t know what to do.
Don’t be scared. Many plans are in place to support you to grow your business in this difficult times, and I want to share them with you today. Now explaining, how to deal with a crisis situation, before it breaks your business.
A Dreadful Error
My hopes were high when I came to America from Europe in 2012. I was a young businessman who succeeded in transforming Singree.com into a small business, a unique digital marketing agency. I had a clear mission and plans. What I had no good idea of what my agency and staffs were capable to do anything without me, which was dreadful error. Let me explain.
In the middle of the 2008-09 economic downturn, I started Singree.com. It employed a single person at the start – me – but I’ve been passionate and thoughtful. Those that wait, good things arrive. I wasn’t just waiting; I was still working hard, 24 hours a day. Time has changed, and 18 digital marketing and production professionals have grown to employ Singree.com. I’ve been proud. It seems natural to move to the United States to cement the Agency’s status. I knew nothing I was going to wreck everything I had.
I helped my staff do their work for years because they used to solve all their problems. So, it was inevitable: eventually, the agency began to break in as I came to the US.
I had difficulty delegating authority, as with many small business owners. I didn’t fear it, I was too involved in all the business chores was doing actually. And it struck me very difficult. I was in NYC but couldn’t rescue my firm — without me, Singree.com was just not working. I was facing the crisis and quickly fixed. But here’s what I’ve done:
1. Admit that you have a Problem
Until you admit your business has been struck by a disaster, you can’t live with it. You may provide all the statistics, which prove that the situation is urgent, but then do little. What’s the explanation for this? The negative force is huge. Your own brain tricks you into not mentioning the issue.
It’s too straightforward (and reassuring) to stay where your business was a great success in the past, but will it help you progress? Naturally, the answer is no. Rely now—no history or future will help you handle a crisis.
Only if you feel that you are responsible for managing your company out of crisis should you take appropriate measures.
Remember – Disaster denial never works. It will never fix a crisis, it will just support action.
2. Make your Staff Optimal
That is to say, fire any employee who doesn’t give your business value. Hard times are all hard decisions and you would have to have the power to clean up the workforce, which is not as efficient as it should be.
About 20% of small businesses invest on revenue and when in recession you are pressured to reduce spending in order to survive. Yet the key explanation why non-productive employees should be fired isn’t about revenue, but rather productivity lacking’s.
Imagine a developer who cannot complete a project on schedule. I think you are not so loyal to give him another chance to complete this job. If, then, you have the money, but don’t hesitate, cut the project off and get rid of the developer while your business is in the shoestring. Tons of money have now been invested. Don’t make the error for the whole business of investing, still more money, and kill hope.
You should still have mercy on your employees, nor are you so certain in paying you back? Normally, the reaction is no. Don’t bother being a good guy. Don’t try to be a nice person. You’ll have a riot in your hands for a number of months, but it’s easier to shoot non-efficient workers now rather than to lose the latter.
No one ought to serve free of charge. The only thing you can do is to be frank with your staff is to care for their family. Reduce and improve to a balanced budget. This is what other companies do.
3. Reduce the Costs
Have you ever read of Pareto? It shows that 80% of the affect is often a consequence of 20% of the factors. You may also apply this theory to your business. That means 80% of your revenues come from 20% of your programs, 20% do 80%, etc. 20% of your workers.
If the business is in trouble, cut projects that make no profit or are not paying enough. Rely on the non-efficient 80 percent for all of the “cutting.” You’ll need to cut programs that are potentially lucrative but are spending money on the budget.
Cut these ventures out without mercy as they will put a tomb on the grave of your business. Even big and affluent corporations (such as Google) slash costs to achieve their objectives. They shut down programs worth billions of dollars to save decades. More waiting means more expenditure — don’t miss it!
4. Prioritize Income Generating Programs
It is time for you to maximize what you already have available after you have closed off redundant tasks and staff.
Increase the productivity of the business by spending all your money in sales ventures – not in many years, but today. These ventures (or a project) keep the company on track. Pay particular attention to them and appoint to them the best experts.
Don’t you know that? Take Steve Jobs’ success story. When he came back to Apple, the business stagnated and manufactured goods which had little income or profit. Jobs cut everything, giving priority to iPod growth. This was an establishment that made Apple the nowadays business.
Remember – Learn to Cut Stuff you don’t care for and prioritize tasks you do.
5. Be Prepared to Face Challenges and to understand
Once Winston Churchill wrote, “Never let waste a healthy crisis.” He was correct. He was right. Any crisis or challenge is the best chance of enhancing skills, finding new solutions and moving on.
You should deal with issues (substantial costs, unproductive programs, nonproductive workers), but you must learn to get out of your comfort zone. The higher your entrepreneur becomes, the better the business has to achieve its full potential (which occurs in crisis times).
Learn to manage yourself first. A quick on the pull manager who shouts at his staff as something falls apart isn’t an enjoyable vision. There’s no other way, you must become a greater, wiser human. Pacify your frustration and turn your feelings towards solving problems rather than devastation.
Second, creatively and proactively you must learn to think. Stop chuckling and concentrate the corporate management on eliminating emotional thought. This not only helps you to look at the real things, it also makes you a genuine leader who manages the circumstances and does not succumb to pressure.
Thirdly, be a master flexibility and adaptability. You will never know what life is for you. So re-think the strategy to move on if unforeseen things happen. Don’t hold to policies that don’t work anymore.
Crisis management means learning new things. Create a difference for the company using these new talents.
It’s never easy to deal with a crisis, especially when resources are being pressured. But if you know how to get on with the wheel and solve challenges, any crisis will become a chance of improving your management skills, become more intelligent and move your business to the next level.