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March 2023

Crisis Management Phases

Crisis Management Phases

Article by: Sara Pantaleo

The best way to minimise the damage caused by a crisis is by taking steps before, during and after one has occurred. This includes doing your due diligence with security practices and preparing an emergency plan that can be used in emergencies like data breaches or other situations where you may have been compromised. Preparation and vigilance are required to navigate crises and reduce any negative impacts on the organisation. You can never be too careful.

Every company will have its defining moment of crisis. Whether a start-up or an established enterprise, there is always the risk that your brand could be damaged in some way and lose customers’ and investors’ confidence if you don’t handle issues like these properly.

It can happen at any time – when things seem brightest! A crisis management process will ensure the best possible outcome in an emergency.

It’s essential to know your response options and have them outlined on paper so they can be executed quickly when needed!

There are three crucial crisis management phases:

1)  Planning  (before a crisis)

Identify the variables and unknowns in your plan so that you can be prepared for anything. As it turns out – even if things go according to schedule- there might still need some flexibility when they don’t!

Train your team members to understand what is expected from them in the different situations they may find themselves in and ensure they are across the entire plan you have put together. This includes fire drill-style training and identifying a situation room where all available tools can be used for this purpose.

The importance here would be providing clear expectations about how things should go down when anything goes wrong at work so everyone knows their role inside out and can be prepared to go at any moment!

Planning for Crisis

1)  During a crisis

When crisis strikes, it’s important to gather everyone who is part of the crisis activation plan. Process the information and ensure everyone understands their responsibilities so your organisation is streamlined in their response. Your team needs to be ready for anything, so you should exercise caution when it comes time. A crisis may last much longer than a day or two, so it’s essential that you rest during a crisis and maintain emergency strength because, if not, more mistakes than usual are likely to happen. It is easy during a crisis for people not to rest, thinking this will help, but it will have the opposite effect, ensuring everyone is taking time out to recoup; this will ensure you stay at the top of your game responding to any crisis unfolding to lead to the best outcome.

2)  After a crisis

Now is not the time to relax your standards. You’ve been through a lot, but that doesn’t mean you can take it easy on yourself! The crisis will impact how people see and treat your brand in some way–either negatively or positively depending again on what kind of response was used during this challenging period. Once the crisis is over, it is time to review your reply and update your plan to reflect any improvements that could’ve taken place.

Be sure to compile learnings and recognise the stakeholders who supported your brand during this time.

Review and update the plan after a crisis

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What is Crisis Management

What is Crisis Management?

Article by: Sara Pantaleo

Crisis management is a necessary skill for any business to have. It’s the process of identifying threats and mounting an effective response to prevent further damage or loss.

Businesses that plan to prevent crises from spinning out of control can limit the damage when something goes wrong. This process, known as crisis management, is essential for any company’s survival today, where bad news travels fast online.

Organisation threat

The first step in any company’s risk management plan is to analyse the threats and what may go wrong. This process, called “risk assessment,” looks at the potential adverse events and their likelihood of occurrence so you can make informed decisions about how best to protect yourself from these threats and prepare for the best- and worst-case outcomes.

Crisis management

Types of crises

Whether it be financial consequences like losing customers due to their fear over finances; or emotional implications such as anger towards employees who caused panic among coworkers because they didn’t know what was happening at work resulting from misinformation spread by people with vested interests within those narratives (this could lead them into dangerous situations); tangible ones where assets fall apart without enough staff on hand- all this contributes towards decreased productivity which can ultimately fail business strategy.

The key types are:

  • Financial Crisis.
  • Personnel Crisis.
  • Organizational Crisis.
  • Crisis of Malevolence.
  • Technological Crisis.
  • Natural Crisis.
  • Confrontation Crisis.
  • Workplace Violence Crisis.
Limiting negative impacts

Having a crisis management plan in place means you can prepare for the worst outcomes should a threat come to fruition. For example, destroying a company’s computer systems would be disastrous. It would mean a loss not only on current projects but also on customer and supplier data!

When you know what you are dealing with regarding possible risks and impacts, your plan will include a backup mitigation plan to minimise negative impacts. For example, you might create a backup system for all computer systems. This way, their data and work processes will still be saved in case anything happens to any particular machine or network connection!

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Team in Business Planning

Why you Should Involve your Team in Business Planning

Article by: Sara Pantaleo

Staff engagement in strategic planning is a critical component of success for any organisation. To engage your staff in your plan, you need to start at the beginning and have them involved in the strategy and goal planning; this will ensure they will more than likely exceed any strategy goals set!

Business Wide Buy-in      

Involving your team from the start engages them in the process and gets them to care about the strategy and the outcomes; there’s no reason why everyone won’t buy in once they know what matters most and why the strategy is essential. Rather than fighting to get everyone to buy in once the plan is done, getting the team involved from day one means buy-in is achieved early and with next to no resistance. Beyond planning, you want the team engaged throughout every step; the key to success is a collaborative effort between departments. Every department should be involved in creating the action steps and performance measures and helping to take the action required to achieve success.


Connect Work to Goals    

By tying individual employee performance goals to an organisation’s strategic objectives, you can engage your employees the whole way through and put strategy at the heart of all they do.

Increase Work Engagement

The involvement in planning tells everyone you care about their input. The change from a primarily employee-based performance management system to one that includes more goals and tasks will help staff feel better aligned with the overall success of your organisation. This increased sense of alignment can improve engagement, too!


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Using SWOT

Using the SWOT to Create your Business Plan

Article by: Sara Pantaleo

The SWOT analysis is a great way to get you thinking about your business in new ways. It doesn’t take much time, and doing it helps you think outside of the box regarding what you need to focus on and future success.

The importance of a SWOT analysis cannot be overstated. Developing your business strategy and considering all opportunities and threats from potential competitors or new market trends is essential. SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities & Threats. This analysis leaves no stone unturned and brings self-awareness into your company’s goal-setting and future planning.

A company’s strengths and weaknesses are internal to the business. You can change them over time, but only with some work on your part!

Opportunities and threats are found in the external environment, a threat to your business and can’t be changed, but risks can be mitigated with the self-awareness a SWOT demands.

The truth of the matter, whether you like it or not- the competition in the market will always influence what happens within your company; good or bad!  We must stay prepared for anything that might come along; a SWOT helps us to be prepared.

The SWOT analysis is a great way to assess the changing environment and respond proactively. It can be used at any time; in fact, the more often, the better, but at minimum, once a year. 

You can either use one four-square SWOT analysis template or make lists for each category. Below, you’ll find examples of a traditional four-square SWOT analysis. However, lists for each square achieve the same outcomes.


Asking the right questions when doing your SWOT analysis

The right questions start with involving the right people. When conducting a SWOT analysis, having people with different perspectives and stakes in your company is essential. The more voices included, the better the chance for an objective result.

A group effort can help create data with greater accuracy because each member brings something unique yet valuable towards understanding how you’re doing and what needs improving or changing about operations. Questions should be focused around each square; Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities & Threats.

Ask the right question

Here are some questions you may ask for each; there are many more you can ask, but these are just some examples.

For strengths, you may ask:

  • What are we doing well?
  • Where have we exceeded KPIs?
  • What goals have we achieved to date?
  • What are the positive traits of our culture and our people?
  • What do customers love about our service?
  • What factors offer us a competitive advantage?

For weaknesses, you may ask:

  • What could we improve?
  • Are we lacking resources anywhere?
  • What are our competitors doing better?

For opportunities:

  • What opportunities exist in the market?
  • Are there any new market trends you can tap into?

For threats:

  • Are there any shifts in the market?
  • Any new competitors to be aware of?

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Business Planning and Growth

Why Business Planning is Important for Business Growth

Article by: Sara Pantaleo

It is important to understand where you want to see your company in five years and how various factors will impact it. Building time into the schedule for this type of thinking can help your company grow.

Business planning is a thinking process; the value is here more so than a piece of paper with a plan. When you spend time planning, the value lies in considering your business from different angles and deciding what actions will make it successful for yourself!

No Direction is a Path to Nowhere.  

When you go through the planning process, figuring out what needs your attention will be easier, ensuring you have a clear direction.

You can focus on important tasks rather than spending time trying on unfounded ideas and tasks that may not work or may actually not be that important for your company. There are many ways in which businesses struggle when they don’t have a clear plan—from spending too much energy worrying about things at hand without thinking ahead enough. Hence, nothing works as initially thought, getting overwhelmed because there’s no end goal! The solution? Planning! With an organised approach, we’re able to put our total effort into essential responsibilities; this gives the company a clear direction and ensures the ship is being steered somewhere specific.


Critical Thinking and Seeing Beyond the Day to Day

With a plan in place, it becomes easy to work backwards and create efficient lists for the week or day rather than reacting to whatever pops up daily and simply putting out fires. Then you can focus on what really needs to get done each period from a strategy point of view to move you in the right direction long-term, as well as take care of the day-to-day operations.

Plan for the future

Making Things Happen

Planning is essential to making sure you can plan for your business’s future and make smart things happen. If there’s no strategy in place, it becomes tricky when faced with new challenges and opportunities that may come down the line – which means having a plan will allow companies more room and less stress on their plate! Planning out what needs doing and by whom, as well as when, can save time later because instead of trying to figure everything else out as we go (which never works), all the team needs to do is ensure they are crossing off those objectives from the plan as they go. This will ensure that your company always moves in the right direction and makes the right things happen.

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Top Business Planning Tips

Top Business Planning Tips

Article by: Sara Pantaleo

Here are our top 3 business planning tips:

Know your Audience and Competition     

Being prepared to name them and tell the difference between each one of your competitors is a must. But don’t disparage other companies in this process – it’s not worth getting upset over which competitor has more employees or larger offices!

For your various audiences, you will probably want to create different business plans tailored towards different audiences to ensure the overall strategy is communicated correctly to each audience.


Be Realistic with Resources.

Optimism is a common trait among the ambitious, but it can lead to problems if not tempered with realism. When you have fewer resources at hand than you would like, for example – think about how much longer everything will take! Always prepare for slower progress by being prepared in advance rather than hoping things go quickly enough as they happen. It is always best to be realistic.


Always Measure Progress

Lastly, what good is a plan and taking consideration of action to achieve your goals if you’re not measuring what you’re doing and reviewing your strategy as you go? Always ask yourself what went well and what didn’t so you can make the appropriate adjustments when updating your plan.

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What your business plan should include

What your Business Plan Should Include

Article by: Sara Pantaleo

The business plan is your guide when it comes to planning the future of your company. The business plan is a great way to ensure that your company’s future goals align with its current operations. Whether you’re looking forward or backward, this document will help provide principles and tactics for taking actions within an organisation to achieve growth successfully!

The key to success in business is planning and action. A good business plan will help your company succeed and flourish by keeping it on track with goals, strategies for reaching those destinations, and what steps need to happen before that can happen.

This article will help you understand the different components of a business plan and why it’s essential to have one.

Plan you year

Your Strategy  

The power of a business plan is in the strategy; it lies in its ability to provide clarity and direction. The strategy includes the big picture and long-term company vision while also giving clear instructions on how you’re going to accomplish your goals.


Your SWOT    

A successful business is only as strong and healthy as its foundation. The backbone of any company lies in understanding what makes it unique. How to improve on those strengths while minimising or removing weaknesses for future growth opportunities – this will help you run your organisation confidently! To get a proper understanding, that’s where your SWOT comes in.

The analysis will show you what’s working in your business and how to improve it so you can meet future goals.

Your Action Plan

The operational backbone of any successful business plan is execution tactics, also known as your action plan. These tactics ensure that time and effort won’t be wasted, as everyone will know what needs to happen at each step for the plan’s success!

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How to develop an efficient action plan

How to Develop an Efficient Business Action Plan

Article by: Sara Pantaleo

The action plan is a great way to ensure you achieve your goals! It’s simple, efficient and easy to use. All it needs are some details about what resources will be used to achieve the goal and when they should come into play – with every detail laid out for quick reference, so there isn’t any confusion or wasted time on implementation tactics. It will then act as a tool to check how your company tracks each of its goals, making achieving your strategic goals easy to manage and oversee.

To achieve the best results using your action plan, it is necessary to plan all the steps of an action plan effectively through a schedule using project management tools like Trello and Asana can make this easier and have the discipline to comply with it.


Always start your action plan with clear goals in mind. The more specific and measurable, the better! Be sure to include timeframes for each action step so that you can track progress towards achieving them all. Without this crucial detail, there may be no way of knowing whether or when certain activities need attention.

Ensure your goals are measurable! Using “SMART goals” is the best way. SMART stands for:

  • Specific.
  • Measurable.
  • Attainable.
  • Relevant.
  • Time-bound.
Smart Goals List

Resources & Prioritisation

When you’re ready to start that action plan, ensure there are no gaps in any resources. If the resources you need don’t exist, make an action plan to get them. When you first create your action plan, it may be chunky. However, after taking the time to re-evaluate what is important, slimming down can happen if needed! It doesn’t matter how difficult a task may seem; always try to break up larger jobs into smaller pieces for more effortless accomplishment.

Creating an action plan

Monitoring and measuring

This is the most crucial part of our plan. It’s not enough to list all its stages and forget about them – we have to ensure each stage leads us closer to achieving success; otherwise, what was supposed to happen will never come to fruition! If you want your plan to work, then monitoring is essential; without it, the plan will not work.

How to Develop an Efficient Business Action Plan Read More »

Getting things done with a business action plan

Getting Things Done with a Business Action Plan

Article by: Sara Pantaleo

Action plans help you get things done; scheduling those objectives and taking action will have you getting things done like never before. The best part is that we’re not just doing something to be productive; our actions are strategic, ensuring we are moving the ship in the right direction and kicking big goals along the way.

Clear Direction

With an action plan, you can be more focused and organised with your time. This keeps you out of the day-to-day mentality of just ticking things off for the sake of it. With an action plan in place, you’ll always have clear direction and avoid getting lost. Action without direction is pointless; a well-thought-out action plan ensures you’re making the right moves. An action plan focuses on high-value tasks and investments; this ensures the consistent best use of your time.

Getting things done

Set Timelines   

Your action plan will have timeframes for each action step so that you can track progress towards achieving all steps on your action plan – the timelines let you know when items need attention and keep you on track to achieving your strategic goals. The timelines are crucial to ensure you get things done in the business.

Set timelines

Achieving Goals

Your action plan is tied to strategic goals, ensuring you get things done and achieve big things along the way. Your action plan makes achieving goals faster and smoother.

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Setting Goals

Business Planning: Setting Goals and Objectives

Article by: Sara Pantaleo

Goals are the cornerstone of any successful business. They provide a clear focus, motivate employees and set benchmarks for your company’s progress towards achieving success – whether that be financial or cultural or anything else!

Setting SMART Goals     

Setting measurable, achievable goals and making them specific will help you focus your efforts. These aspects should be considered when creating a goal to ensure that your goals are practical.

To develop smart goals, they must be:

  • Specific. Successful people know that a goal without specificity is nearly impossible to achieve. Be specific about what you want, and it’s much easier for success!
  • Measurable. Measuring your progress is essential for staying on track and achieving success. There are many different ways to measure success, including data-based measures such as money saved or the number of customers served; it can also depend upon feedback from potential clients/customer surveys etc. Measurables should always be something that will reflect how much work was done in return
  • Attainable. Your goal should be challenging but reachable. Make sure you have the time and money needed to achieve it before starting.
  • Relevant. The goal must be worth achieving if you want your business to grow and thrive. A good way of ensuring this would be by making sure whatever outcome or result you’re looking for has relevance in our current direction – such as increasing profits if they are low at present, employing more staff who can help with increased production rates etc.
  • Time-bound. The target date is like a deadline for your goal. If you don’t have one, it’s easy for the goal to be pushed aside when in the business’s day-to-day operations.
Goal setting

Examples of SMART Goals and Objectives     

Here are a few examples:

  • I will increase sales for my retail business within two months by 15% by increasing my local newspaper advertising spending. This will allow me to increase my sales.
  • I will obtain two new clients for my accounting services by the end of the month by attending a local upcoming networking event on the first Friday of this month. This will allow me to grow my business by two customers and, in turn, my revenue.
Realistic goals

Achieving your Goals and Objectives

It’s time for you to get serious about reaching those goals! Here are some things that will help plan out how:

  • Resources. Ensure you are across all the resources required to achieve a goal to ensure it is realistic.
  • Time. Ensure you have allowed enough time alongside your typical day-to-day activities to achieve your goal.
  • Action. Ensure you specify precisely what you need to do to achieve your goal.

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