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What does a crisis management plan include

What does a Crisis Management Plan Include?

Article by: Sara Pantaleo

Crisis management plans are all about minimising the damage, calming nerves and restoring operations as quickly as possible with minimal interruption. The very future of your business could depend on a crisis management plan.

You need an effective and tailored plan to your organisation’s needs to manage a crisis. This article provides the key elements of such plans.

Risk analysis

Risk analysis  

The first step in preparing for any crisis is assessing what could go wrong. Work with members from leadership, your team and other key stakeholders to start listing all possible threats or vulnerabilities that might impact the organisation’s business function and strategic plans.

Once you’ve pinpointed these potential threats, start looking at how to respond effectively to each one to be prepared and find success should they occur!

Triggers for activation     

When people first respond to crises, they often do so with confusion and inaction. Your plan must identify what will trigger the activation of a crisis response plan to ensure as much clarity as possible during a trying time.

Response to crises

Action plans

A solid action plan ensures that your team can follow a plan when an emergency strikes to provide the best possible outcome—having a plan avoids reacting to emotion and stress, which is common in crisis. Your crisis response team will be on standby and ready to take action anytime. They have detailed plans for each person who might need help during a crisis event, which can be activated automatically by the protocols that define them! This means you’ll handle things better—and with more success–because of how prepared they are. Being prepared is your best protection against disasters.

Need help creating a crisis management plan? We coach and mentor business leaders to guide them toward the best plan for their organisation.

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The elements fo a business crisis to be prepared for

The Elements of a Business Crisis to be Prepared for

Article by: Sara Pantaleo

When a crisis occurs, it’s essential to have an idea of the different elements you’ll face. You need an open mind and be receptive so you can quickly respond with action when required, most during times of surprise and threat!

Managing crises is essential to ensuring that organisations, their stakeholders and the general public are not harmed. A successful response to a suddenly developing situation will help avoid or lessen any negative impacts on these groups that could result from being handled poorly.

Crisis can take many different forms-from natural disasters like floods, a network data breach or even a public relations type crisis due to an ignorant social media post.

A plan to best deal with emergency elements is the key to minimising crisis event severity.

The key elements that make up a crisis are:

Threat to the business    

The first step in preventing damage from occurring to an organisation begins with finding where those risks lie regarding possible future threats. Anticipating threats will help reduce the impact of any threats that may arise. A threat is a critical element of a crisis so dire that it will require swift action to see your business come out the other side in a positive light rather than a negative one.


Element of surprise

Despite the best preparation and crisis management planning, it will still take you by surprise when an emergency occurs. Often we think something can’t possibly affect our business until it does. The element of surprise makes responding tricky territory without a plan and often results in a poor public image due to how an incident was handled. A solid crisis management plan ensures a better outcome and often improved loyalty to your brand due to the proactive handling of the situation.

Short decision time

The short decision time that comes with an emergency often causes organisations to slip up when making decisions under such pressure. A crisis management plan ensures you know when to trigger a response and what response is needed. It will ensure no mistakes are made due to responding on the go.

Decision time

As a business coach and mentor, we can help you create a crisis management plan and prepare your business to be prepared.

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Main steps for creating a crisis plan

Main Steps for Creating a Crisis Plan

Article by: Sara Pantaleo

A crisis management plan is essential for any business, especially dealing with the public. This documents how your company will react to various situations and should be well thought-out to help avoid further damage or loss. An effective, well-crafted crisis plan is the best way to restore operations after a crisis. This may seem like common sense, but it’s essential for any business today, where anything can happen at anytime! A properly designed plan will allow you and your staff members who are knowledgeable about the situation to handle things as quickly and smoothly as possible.

Having a crisis management plan is essential because, without one, stressed people may make poor decisions and unintentionally extend or worsen the situation.

The main steps to create a plan are:

Risk assessment & business impact analysis

You can never be too prepared for anything. Ensure you and your team have identified all possible threats or vulnerabilities that might impact the organisation’s business function and strategic plans.

Think of the worst-case scenario that you think could happen in your organisation. Having this in a more specific sense will guide what steps must be taken next!

Emergency Exit

Response planning

To ensure that your response plan is activated during a crisis, you must identify what will trigger this activation. To be prepared for any emergency, it’s essential to document how your team will act in various scenarios. This includes assigning responsibility for each task and determining who is responsible. You will also want to plan how you communicate during a crisis to avoid any hiccups in the heat of the moment. To avoid a chaotic situation, crisis teams need to establish systems and backup methods of communication. This includes collecting contact information for all team members and anyone they might need to call upon, including outside consultants or subject matter experts, in case something goes wrong during an emergency.

Response team


To stay on top of your plan, you need a structured review process that ensures regular follow-ups and check-ins. Keeping a crisis management plan up to date is essential to running your business. As the environment changes and new risks arise, you’ll need to update this document to reflect any recent developments in risk assessment and how best to prepare for them should something happen.

A business coach can help you with preparing and documenting a Crisis Management Plan. Ask us how.

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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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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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The Importance of Business Planning

Article by: Sara Pantaleo

An effective strategy and plan are key to success in any business. Plans can help you set goals for your company and develop the best strategy for your organisation’s future, so it’s worth taking your time to develop a solid business plan. Planning is key to making sure your business strategy will be a success!

Business Planning

Setting & Communicating Goals      

A sound business plan should ensure a high communication and transparency level. Strategic planning is essential to any business but often fails when communicating these goals to your wider organisation. It can be challenging for those outside decision-making teams to understand why they should care about your goals; this part of developing a plan is worth carefully planning; with the right communication, the strategy will likely succeed.

To have a successful communication plan to back up your strategy goals, mission, vision and so on, it’s essential for the message to be clear and concise without being too simple or complex to get a wider buyer in.

Some of the ways this can be achieved are:

  • Have a company-wide meeting.
  • Detail matters. Think through how any changes may be perceived; people often react negatively to change, so this needs to be thought through, and anything of this nature can be addressed immediately.
  • Go over the Company’s history and vision and how the plan will help drive everyone there. Ensure everyone is aligned around the values that drive the team forward. We need to talk not only about how strategy plays a vital role in growth but also give context around what has led up until now and the challenges faced by this company. In doing so, your team will understand why any changes are necessary.

Avoid failure   

The lack of a strong business plan usually causes small businesses to fail. You must develop one because it will help avoid many potential problems in your company and ensure everything goes smoothly for years to come!

Reducing risk

The most important decisions a business owner can make are based on research and information from an effective plan. That’s why it is critical to have one in place before starting your own company, so you know what could go wrong or right when things really matter! Strategic planning minimises blind spots and mitigates risk.

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