Let’s be honest – when running a business, there will be moments when things are going to fall apart. What you do during those moments is what counts.
Jeff Kohl, area manager of BBSI’s Las Vegas branch, shares the five Ps to keep in mind during those moments.
- People – People are listed first because they are the most important. Kohl stresses, “Always remember those standing with you, but at the same time, rely on those people. When a crisis arises, you don’t have to do everything yourself. If you do have to do everything yourself, you need to work on your people.”
- Product – Does my product stand the test of time? Kohl encourages a check-in with yourself and your team on the product (or services) you are offering. “Ask yourself, ‘do I have a product that the consumer wants, or more importantly, needs?’ That’s not always an easy answer. There are a lot of products and services that don’t make it. Make sure you are doing some honest self-reflection.”
Even if your product or service is a little quirky, maybe you just need to rely more heavily on marketing it. No one would have guessed that the styled terracotta figurines used to sprout chia seeds, otherwise known as Chia Pets, would be a household name. Through creative marketing, this item turned into a consumer demand.
- Process – This is a good time to evaluate your market and your internal structure to make sure everything is operating efficiently. “Figure out if there are holes that can be filled and use this situation to take advantage of the new opportunities that arise out of the challenges,” explains Kohl.
Psychotherapist Mel Schwartz writes in Psychology Today, “Growth and fundamental levels of change only tend to occur when we are out of our comfort zone. We can refer to this as being far from equilibrium, where certainty and predictability no longer reign supreme. So, we might look at the crisis as a blessing in disguise, albeit an unwanted one.”
- Plan – What are your social media, marketing and public relations plans? Kohl encourages companies to start with their website, “A bad website can do more harm than good. Your presence online is your first impression with a company. This is the area to spend money, particularly if things aren’t going right, you are going to want to invest to get things back on track.”
A web design study was reported in Forbes, “The most surprising revelation was that design elements are exponentially more powerful than content, in terms of mistrust. When asked to describe why they mistrusted a website, 94 percent of comments were directly related to web design elements, while only 6 percent referenced specific content.”
- Perception – Set the record straight. Often in turbulent times, rumors are started, or falsehoods are spread. Make sure you act to keep the truth out in the open. “If the problem is large enough, you may need to hire a public relations professional to help you do this right. When talking to the media, you can’t pick up the skill to do this in a 20-minute class; get it right or you will be memorialized on YouTube and social media, just not in a good way,” says Kohl.
Distribute a press release, write a blog post and share on social media. Call reporters that are not reporting the facts and ask for a correction to be published. Kohl continues, “And if you do talk to media, make sure you have the three messages you want to get across memorized so that they can be integrated into the conversation.”