Business owners and CEOs are in no doubt that there are a number of inherent risks in running a business. A crucial aspect of keeping your business afloat is to have a concrete plan for dealing with crisis communication: the only way to deal with the risks that your business might face is first to identify them and then plan for dealing with them.
The right sort of preparation should include crisis communications training for key personnel so that risk can be managed in such a way that the impact on your business is minimal. There are some risks that virtually every business needs to plan for; these include physical and location risks, technological risk and human risk.
Physical and Location Risks
Most physical and location risks are easy to identify and prepare for. Every company should have a comprehensive fire risk policy that includes: instructing staff in key exit points, a fire alarm system and a designated meeting place outside of the building. Staff should be familiar with the correct address and postcode of the business for when they telephone emergency services in cases of fire.
Staff should be aware that in risk situations their personal safety is of prime importance and they need to be able to leave the building via the dedicated exit points if an alarm is sounded. If you install a sprinkler system then this will help to mitigate the damage to the building’s interior and to valuable equipment.
If your company deals with hazardous materials and waste then staff need to be provided with appropriate clothing and be taught how to deal with spills and other risks in crisis communication training. You should ensure that a dedicated company will be there to deal with any spillage of hazardous waste.
Location risks include having your building in an area where there is a flood risk or potential for other natural disasters such as an earthquake or a hurricane. Again there needs to be a dedicated plan for such circumstances that all staff are familiar with.
Many businesses rely heavily on the internet for their day-to-day operations. The primary risks are power outage and splurges, system hacking and loss of important or confidential documentation. Power cuts and splurges can be dealt with if you have a backup battery system for your computers. When it comes to important documents you should have online and offline backup copies. A good virus and spyware package on every computer is vital if you don’t want your systems hacked.
Any staff members with drug or alcohol problems should be monitored and offered suitable counselling or other help as they could prove a hazard to your business. You need to be clear about levels of access when it comes to computers and accounting systems if you wish to avoid embezzlement and potential industrial espionage.
You should have some sort of backup plan for when key personnel are sick, which may mean outsourcing some of the more mundane tasks so that another trusted individual can take over.
Proper planning and methods of dealing with crisis communications are essential if you want to protect your business from any of the risks identified above.
James Harper writes for Insignia, the experts in crisis communications and crisis management training. James writes on subjects relating to Business.