By September 18, 2013 Read More →

Crisis management

Can you deal with crisis management?

Crisis managementWorking from home, as you’ll know all too well, has its own challenges. One that is less often discussed is the need to cope on your own with a sudden crisis and come up with a plan for crisis management.

Running my cleaning business my biggest and most frequent crises were related to staff sickness or no shows. My clients were professional businesses like solicitors and top end estate agents who were paying for a quality service. The cleaning had to be done, regardless of how many cleaners had the flu.

Crisis management had its own predictable and tedious pattern – asking other cleaners to cover for the missing person and when that didn’t fill the gap, doing the job myself. Over 12 years it was so tiring and stressful it was the main reason I decided to sell the business. And why I swore I’d never employ people again.

Now I’m working on my own in an internet business, it’s technology that gives me the biggest headaches. If our broadband connection unexpectedly goes slow or dips out completely, crisis management is simple. It boils down to deciding whether to go out and work elsewhere, which has a cost and time implication, or to stay put and hope for the best. No doubt that’s a familiar conundrum to many of you.

What’s your biggest potential crisis? Depending on your family circumstances and job, it could be having sick children or elderly relatives to care for, a car accident or breakdown, your own illness or injury, suddenly having supplies cut off, a major client going out of business owing you money…

I don’t want to depress you, but it’s a good idea to think seriously about possible emergencies so you can plan ahead. Think it through calmly when everything’s fine and you’ll cope much better with crisis management in the heat of the moment.

It also gives impetus to getting out and developing a supportive network at times when it would be much easier and less challenging to stay in the comfort of your own space. Helping out some contacts when they’re in a fix is not only satisfying but makes it more likely they’ll help you in the future.

I once managed to keep my cleaning business going when I had more staff absent than working. It scarred me for life, mind you! Have you survived a crisis that seemed disastrous at the time? What vital tips did it teach you about crisis management?

Posted in: Routine

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