Operating a business is hardly a walk in the park considering there are so many active parts that keep the business machine going. The chance that an important area of business goes haywire is inevitable, which is why it’s best to expect and plan for the worst.
There are so many different disastrous areas that could be covered but let’s take a look at four you’re bound to experience over the lifetime of your business:
We’re not all wizards when it comes to technology, which means that at some point or another there will be data loss at the business. Hopefully, the data loss isn’t anything important. However, when personal & customer information, trade secrets, financial documents, and other sensitive data is on the line you will definitely want to have a disaster plan in place.
What you should be doing is this:
- Do not give data access to individuals that do not need it
- Conduct regular on-site and off-site backups of your data
- Review and implement updated security policies on a regular interval
These will generally handle the issues on a surface value.
Solution: When you truly mess up and lose important data you need to immediately seek out services for recovery. For example, certified hard drive data recovery services in Toronto offer options for recovering data from a damaged or compromised database, hard drive, laptop, flash drive, or other devices.
People are people, which means they are prone to mistakes and outbursts. Taking to social media channels to berate an irate customer may feel great when doing so but ultimately comes across as aggression which can leave a sour taste in the mouth of the public.
Other instances of PR issues may be inappropriate advertising images, internal conflicts that spill over to the public, or even as simple as something like changing the color of your logo (some people are really, really dedicated to the brand and will go a little crazy). These disasters happen often – it’s good to learn from the mistakes of others.
When the PR/social becomes a nightmare, it’s good to have a plan of action:
- Own up to the situation as soon as possible and stop the spread of disinformation
- Apologize and offer a solution/alternative to those that feel affected
- Show the process of change that has happened throughout and after the incident
- Come back and deliver a better product/service & message
Solution: Online reputation management is a term you’ll want look up when you’ve really goofed, but otherwise most incidents can be handled through a press release or social media post.
Product hold-ups generally happen on the logistics side of things – when the orders are coming in but the product can’t get out.
Often times the logistical problems are the result of:
- Inexperienced personnel
- Outdated shipping processing
Solution: The easiest way to handle disasters that happen due to logistics is to allow certain employees to “float” into picking & packing, or take on temp help during busy seasons. Likewise, update those logistics services to print accurate shipping labels and schedule pickups at your location, versus having to go to the post office each and every day.
Questing for Perfection
It’s hard to classify this as a “disaster” but it certainly is one in my book because when a leader turns from an agile entrepreneur to a nit-picking perfectionist, that’s when things go downhill.
A perfectionist leader is one who:
- Halts the development of ventures because of personal convictions, as opposed to logical evidence
- Accidentally sabotages creativity and relationships with employees due to an overbearing nature
- Becomes pigeon-holed into a certain routine and avoids taking risks
There are other issues with perfectionism in business – hopefully none that you possess.
When the leader stifles the team, the business suffers. Not a whole lot can be accomplished and, while waiting to get the last 1% perfected, the competition has already launched. This leaves a business clawing to catch up (which almost never goes well).
Solution: To get away from this you just need to let go and trust your employees. Be okay with pulling the trigger on projects that are ready to launch and update as you go, rather than blocking them indefinitely.
There’s no way of knowing when these will happen, but you can take action today and put new policies and resources into action to mitigate the damage. Stay strong!