We all know that hurricanes can cost companies billions of dollars in catastrophic damage. These life-changing natural disasters are impossible to protect against, and difficult to predict, meaning that you’re often left completely out of your depth when it comes to rebuilding your business again.
When you’re running a small business, any major problem can feel like hurricane damage whether it’s losing a significant client, encountering a personal finance dilemma or suddenly facing a data breach that ruins your reputation. The key to success knows how to get up, brush off the rubble and get back to work.
Here are our top tips on how to get your business back up and running after a significant disaster.
1. Address Your Problem
It’s impossible to deal with a crisis until you sit down and take stock of the situation. Simply trying to deny the issue or brush it under the rug never works. Problems always catch up with you eventually. The best thing you can do is admit to your issue and start figuring out what you can do about it.
Decide what the problem is, and what the repercussions are. For instance, if you recently suffered from a data breach, you might have lost valuable information and customer trust. Once you know the biggest issues you’re facing, create a hierarchy that covers what you need to address first, and how you’re going to approach each problem.
2. Optimize Your Workforce
When disaster strikes, the last thing you need is your entire workforce rushing around like headless chickens, with no-one operating on the same page. Make sure that you sit down and discuss the issues that you’re facing with your team so you can take a unified approach to a solution.
Sometimes, optimizing your workforce will also mean that you’ll need to trim some of the dead weight from your team too. In other words, if there are people in your organization that isn’t pulling their weight – you’ll have to get rid of them pronto. Although this can be difficult to do when all you want to do is protect your employees, a disaster forces you to be ruthless and honest with your team. Don’t make the mistake of being too kind.
3. Eliminate Unnecessary Expenses
When you face a financial problem in your everyday life – what’s the first thing you’ll do? After a brief moment of panic, there’s a good chance that you’ll start pulling out your bank statements and looking for ways that you can cut costs and improve your budget. The same rules apply in a business environment, although it might take a little more time for you to determine exactly which expenses you can afford to cut here.
Start by cutting any projects out of your routine that isn’t producing enough profit or delivering income on time. You might have been able to stick by these projects in the past, but now they’ll be a drain on your resources that you simply can’t manage. Also, look for ways to make sure that you’re paying back your loans on time every month so that you don’t have to worry about extra fees and interests too.
4. Focus on the Projects that Deliver the Most Revenue
A lot of the process of recovering from a business disaster involves cutting things that are holding your business back, such as time-consuming projects and non-productive employees. However, if you want to get back on track, you’ll also need to look for ways to invest in your future too. For instance, start by looking at which projects will help you to bring in the most cash in the months to come.
Once you know what’s going to be best for you in the long-term, invest all of your resources into the things that will generate the most revenue – not in years, but in the immediate future. These projects will be the crucial components that are keeping your business afloat during times of turmoil. Steve Jobs took this approach once with Apple after a business disaster and focused all of his efforts on the iPod. Look at where that decision led him!
5. Learn from Each Disaster
Finally, remember that every disaster an issue that happens in your business isn’t just a test of your strength, it’s an opportunity to learn from your mistakes, grow, and become a better company overall. Rather than just pitying yourself for what you’ve lost, use this trying moment in your company’s life to learn and grow.
Remember that other businesses just like you have gotten through troubling times like this before. If you can do the same thing, then there’s a good chance that you’ll come out stronger at the other end.