How to Future-Proof Your Business Against Crises

Companies can never completely eliminate the possibility of things going wrong. Try these techniques to prepare for potential crisis scenarios.

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How to Future-Proof Your Business Against Crises

Here's what you need to know:

  • Preparing for as many adverse situations as possible is vital if you want your company to weather these storms
  • Future-proof by anticipating roadblocks and downturns and by hiring an incredible team of workers
  • Develop a robust online presence and stay aware of current and upcoming trends
  • Consult with fellow managers and your team to brainstorm
  • Adopt a flexible company culture to help mitigate future crises

Crises happen. We’d like to think they won’t ever happen to us but it just doesn’t work that way.

Sure, you can take specific steps and put specific protocols in place to decrease the likelihood of something catastrophic happening. And yes, there are very clear “dos” and “don’ts” that factor in here, too.

At the end of the day, though, you can never completely eliminate the possibility of things going wrong. That’s because you can’t control how outside forces interact with your organization.

All you have control over is how you and your company respond to sticky situations. That can be frustrating. But it can also empower you and inform how you move forward.

The importance of having plans for various scenarios

There are a number of different crises that can threaten your business at any given point. There are PR crises, financial crises (such as bankruptcy or significant revenue decline), and interpersonal crises, among others.

Regardless of which crisis is most likely for your business, though, it’s important for you to have contingencies for a number of scenarios.

For example, say your business is suffering quarterly revenue losses. It’s ongoing and it’s starting to concern you. Not only do you need to have plans in place for that problem, but you also need to have processes and protocols for a PR crisis, sudden management shakeup, and more.

Preparing for as many adverse situations as possible is vital if you want your company to weather these storms.

As daunting as all of this may seem, there are things you can do to help mitigate these potential disasters. A crisis doesn’t have to be the end of your business. You have more say in your company’s fate than you think.

Preparing for as many adverse situations as possible is vital if you want your company to weather these storms.

We’ve put together a quick guide to help you future-proof your organization against potential crises. A solid “what to do when the sky is falling” plan is essential if you want your business to continue to thrive. We can’t make the plan for you but we can give you some tips and tricks that will help you get started!

Future-proof by anticipating roadblocks and downturns

The prevailing logic behind future-proofing your business is encapsulated in the old saying “better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it.” As we said earlier, there’s no way to guarantee that your organization won’t be faced with a crisis. That’s 1 of the many reasons why being proactive is so important.

With that in mind, you need to anticipate potential roadblocks. Get specific. Imagine what these issues would look like and how you would initially respond.

Draw up a list of possible scenarios. Come up with specific ways to mitigate these problems and brief your team on them.

While it’s true you can’t control outside forces like inflation or economic downturns, it’s also true that you can fortify your organization by planning for these things before they happen.

Being preemptive can help prevent some pretty serious issues down the road. It’s key if you want your business to thrive.

Adopt a flexible company culture to help mitigate future crises

Being flexible is a huge part of being adaptable. And being able to adapt is everything if you want your company to thrive.

The difference between businesses that survive and businesses that die often boils down to these questions: Can they adapt? Are they built to adapt? You have to be able to adapt if you want to future-proof your organization against crises.

This may seem obvious but you would be surprised at how many organizations have trouble adjusting. Some companies just aren’t built to adapt. They rely on outdated norms and have trouble establishing new protocols and implementing new systems.

This could be a death sentence for those businesses, depending on which industry they’re in and how quickly they can pivot to stay afloat.

Future-proof by hiring an incredible team of workers

Having a team of hard-working, reliable employees is an amazing defense against potential crises. With the right team, you can handle just about any crisis. One of the best questions you can ask yourself is, “If everything were to go wrong today, would I be able to rely on my team to help us all through it?”

Not only will great employees generally be more capable in crisis situations, but they will also be invaluable parts of the planning process. Help them help you by keeping them informed as you do your future-proofing. That leads into our next point quite nicely.

Future-proof by developing a robust online presence

This is an absolute must. Having a robust, consistent online presence is key to your business’s survival. It doesn’t matter what industry you’re in, either.

Staying abreast of how business is done online (and why it’s done that way) will help you devise ways to grow your audience and deliver value to people regardless of their geographical location. It’s how many businesses future-proof and ensure steady cash flow.

The potential for businesses online is vast. Without an online component, your business may have a more difficult time adapting.

Stay aware of current and upcoming trends

Staying informed about what’s hot in your industry (and what’s gaining popularity) will help you plan more effectively. Successful businesses ensure that their employees always have their fingers on the pulse of what is happening in their industries.

For example, if a trend is starting to affect your competitors in noticeable ways, it’s likely affecting your organization as well. You want to be aware of these things. Trends should never be a surprise.

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Consult with fellow managers and your team

Consulting with fellow managers about how to future-proof your company is vital. It’s important to remember that you don’t have to plan these things alone.

In fact, you shouldn’t plan these things alone. Running your plans and ideas by your coworkers allows for collaboration. Even more importantly, it gives your employees a greater say in how your organization will respond to a crisis situation. That is huge.

Make a point of asking your team what they would do in specific crises. Involve them in the planning process. Brainstorm with them. Pick their brains.

Outline what you are thinking, how you’re thinking of implementing your plan, and why you think it is the best path forward. But also be open to their ideas. It’s possible that they could come up with something you never would’ve thought of on your own.

The bottom line is this: Involving other employees in your future-proofing ensures that nothing too egregious falls through the cracks. The more brains you can put toward helping your business survive crises, the better. Rely on your team! They’re there to help you.

It’s best to be prepared in advance for potential crises

We hope this guide helps give you an idea of what it takes to future-proof your business against potential crises. Thinking about bankruptcy, inflation, or any other business crisis is never pleasant, but neither is losing your company to a crisis.

Again, there’s no guarantee that these things will ever happen to you or your organization. There’s also no guarantee that they won’t happen. That means the best, most prudent thing you can do is to plan for a future where a crisis does affect your company.

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