Lesson 9: Crisis Management

What You’ll Learn: A disaster isn’t a matter of if but when, and being prepared for one – from employee theft to “the big one” – will protect your business and livelihood. We’ll take you through the simple steps you can take to ensure that your business will survive just about anything thrown at you.

Crisis Management (continued)


  1. Read the guidebook. Think about some of the more common disruptions your business could face. Think about what you could do right now to reduce the chance they will happen or impact your business.
  2. Plot and chart. Do a single plot for a potential crisis. Take one of the crises you identified above and use the plotting tools to determine the likelihood it will happen and the level of impact it could have on your business. See where it plots on the colored grid. If the likelihood of it happening is high, is there anything you can do to reduce the chance it will happen? If it will impact your business substantially, what can you do to reduce that impact? Don’t forget to think about the hard and soft dollar costs of the crisis.
  3. Become resilient. As you plan out your business, think about how you can make it more resilient from the very start. This could include how you maintain records and perform backups for files, how you manage your cash flow to ensure you have the necessary reserves to weather an economic downturn or a business disruption, and how you onboard new employers to ensure that the sustainability of your business and safety of its workers and customer remain top of mind.
  4. Start work on a full crisis plan. Integrating your crisis plan into your other business planning can actually save you some work since the two will be closely tied together and you will automatically begin to build in safeguards and identify potential events that can impact your operations, short- and long-term.
  5. Talk to other businesses about their insurance. If you have friends who are in business, talk to them about what type of insurance policies they have, including policy limits, deductibles and exclusions. Make sure they are in a similar line of business. For example, a lawyer may have a professional liability policy in addition to the general liability policy a store owner may carry.