Technology – This can include computer viruses, hacking, randomware, system failures, or the fact that your 10-year-old computer’s hard drive seized up and you don’t have a backup. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 93% of businesses that suffer a significant loss of data go out of business within five years.
Loss or Illness of Key Staff – The temporary or permanent loss of the owner or a key manager can be a disaster for a small business. Perhaps just as important – as we have seen in the pandemic – a lengthy hospital stay because of illness can seriously affect a business’ operations.
Terrorism – Domestic or foreign terrorism is a possibility, even in a small town. We all remember the Oklahoma City bombing and 9/11, but even rural communities can be affected by an act of terrorism, especially by domestic organizations. Even if you’re not the target of a terrorist act, lack of access to your facility or collateral damage can seriously affect your operations.
Supplier or Customer Crisis – Many businesses are only as strong as their supply chain. What would happen if your deliveries were suddenly interrupted? What if a customer is hurt or killed by a product you sell? What about a product recall where there is an obvious liability?
Bad Press – Social media has changed the playing field. What if a disgruntled employee or customer turned loose on Twitter? What if the media picked up on a story that put you in a bad light? What would be your response?
To the uninitiated, this may seem pretty daunting, but you don’t have to do everything at once. You want to build your crisis plan over time and keep it updated. Plus, we’ve put together all the tools you need, including templates, examples and resources you can use. It’s all online in your handy guide – When Trouble Strike: A Small Business Crisis Planner.