At least 10 tropical storms form over the ocean each year.
When these storms grow into hurricanes and hit land, things get messy, fast. Thankfully, as long as you know how to prepare for the worst, you can position your company to have the best possible outcome.
For instance, having the right insurance coverages can help minimize business downtime. You should also make sure your deductibles are reasonable, so you can afford the repairs.
Other than adverse weather, what other types of business disruptions should you plan for? Read on to find out!
Dealing With Server Downtime
Let’s begin by reviewing what to do if you’re dealing with one of the most complex types of business disruptions, server downtime. Server downtime is an all-too-frequent occurrence that is difficult to predict or resolve.
When the cloud service business Fastly experienced a server outage, websites around the world went offline. It’s scary to think of how a select few companies all responsible for internet operations worldwide.
When a company’s server is down, its online processes are instantly disrupted. The downtime can impact your business in many ways. Customers might get lost or confused, making them less likely to do business with you again.
How Can We Manage Server Downtime Best?
Several measures can help with server business downtime. For starters, your company should practice safe storage when processing credit card transactions. For instance, keep transaction records from unauthorized individuals. Also, install fireproof safes in your data center to protect your most critical records.
You can also hire a security company to monitor the security of your building, staff, and systems on a 24/7 basis. Next, ensure employees know how to react properly to server downtime situations.
Business Disturbances From Poor Communication
Next, another major business disruption is poor communication. Poor communication can pop up in several ways. Think of your business as the body and its communication infrastructure as the nervous system.
If one part of the body experiences pain, then the rest of the body reacts appropriately so it doesn’t get hurt. For instance, let’s say that you’re a 20-person customer service team for a large organization with 1,000 staff members worldwide.
You’re all trying to coordinate time zones and schedules across several shifts per week. If you’re all on the same page, coordinating your efforts is no problem at all. However, if one of your team members does not receive a communication memo about an important deadline – and others do – disaster could follow.
As a result, some customers might get upset with them and transfer their business to another company. This disruption can easily snowball into something much larger. Overall, disruptions in business are inevitable. However, when you have a strong communication system in place, it’s easier to overcome any type of business downtime.
How to Manage Poor Communication Effectively
What’s the best way to overcome problems brought about by poor communication? It helps if you implement integrated systems for announcements and news updates. Do a quick online search for IT Support Near Me, to find a company that can help you find the best-integrated approach for your needs.
Integrated approaches allow employees within your organization better access to recent updates. Instead of relying on word of mouth, or bulletin boards, they’ll have instant digital access to the information they need to perform their job well.
Your organization should also consider going paperless, thereby reducing the time employees spend looking for documents, reports, or other important information they need in their work.
Handling a Plant Shutdown
Next, another expensive type of business disruption is plant shutdowns. Plant shutdowns can occur for several different reasons. For instance, maybe an employee has a sudden health problem.
Or perhaps another crisis occurred – like a fire or flood – that disrupted your plant’s operations. In any case, these types of business disruptions can mean the end of the road for your business, if not handled properly.
How to Manage a Plant ShutDown
Do you know the plant shutdown is going to happen before it does? If yes, notify all employees and customers of the upcoming shutdown. That way, you don’t have to worry about workers showing up, only to be turned away.
What should you do if your plant or factory has to shut down unexpectedly? In the is that you find yourself dealing with an emergency shutdown, time is of the essence. As soon as possible, you’ll want to hold a conference with all of your company’s managers and team leads.
You might also want to consider using video conferencing technology. By setting up a video conference with everyone involved, you can be more efficient in communicating key messages and reducing the amount of confusion that could develop otherwise.
During the conference, review the causes for the shutdown. Next, start devising plans to get things up and running again. Having paperless communications will go a long way towards helping you recover quickly from a shutdown while minimizing losses.
Different Types of Strikes
Next, let’s review the best practices for handling a strike. A strike can occur in the workplace for several reasons. The most common reason is that the workers want to increase their wages or benefits and the employer does not agree with this request.
An employee strike may also occur if the contracted employees feel they are being treated unfairly by a company. Preparing yourself for the possibility of a strike is one of the best ways to overcome this type of disruption. For instance, you should familiarize yourself with all of the different ways a strike can occur, such as walkout vs absenteeism.
A walk-out happens when the majority of employees walk out together and refuse to work for you until their demands are met.The walkout doesn’t even have to apply solely to your company. Take for instance the Strike For Black Lives, which affected hundreds of companies in America.
Absenteeism happens when workers who are against your decision may call in sick from home instead of coming to work. They do so to show their anger toward your policies and how much they disapprove.
A seasonal disruption is when a certain type of worker (like a ski instructor for instance) goes on strike during the season in which they are needed most. Seasonal disruptions can have devastating effects on your business when you least expect them.
Oftentimes, when these employees do not come to work, your customers will not want to spend money with you because there’s no one there to help them. This may lead to loss of profits and disgruntled workers who were counting on this extra income source.
How to Manage Any Type of Strike
How should you handle a strike? For starters, try to stay open. Whenever possible, it’s best to keep the business running so money’s coming in, despite the disruption.
You can take a proactive approach by hiring leaders who know what it’s like to deal with a strike. For instance, it’s advantageous if your COO has been through this experience before and knows what he or she needs to do. If possible, find people like him/her who already know how to handle a walk-out or absenteeism.
What Is a Customer Disruption?
Customer disruptions happen when individuals who have hired services or products from your company refuse to pay. The refusal could be because they do not feel that your performance matched their standards.
Customers may also feel like you have done something to purposely harm them or their reputation, causing them to refuse to pay. They can either refuse to make payments at all or withhold them until changes are made.
For example, let’s say a customer who hires a plumber. However, they feel the work was subpar. This unsatisfied customer might not pay the remaining balance owed. They could withhold payment until he/she is assured that their problems will be fixed and won’t need to hire another contractor to do the job.
This type of behavior hurts businesses financially because if customers don’t return, it’s difficult to increase profits from one year to the next. Business owners must find new ways of attracting new clients instead of relying on previous ones who may not return because of past complications.
The reason customer disruptions are so damaging is that you don’t have control over your clients’ actions once they leave your establishment. You want to make sure that you make a long-term relationship with them, which can be difficult if they refuse payment after the services or products are delivered.
How to Solve Customer Disruptions
Business owners need to take preventative actions before any type of disruption occurs to solve them when possible. This means finding ways to improve customer satisfaction, while at the same time making necessary changes within the organization.
If a business owner does find themselves dealing with an unhappy customer issue, they must deal with it immediately and resolve it as soon as possible. This will also help to prevent any bad press that might occur if this information becomes public and negatively affects your organization’s reputation.
If there is an issue with customer quality, make sure you address it immediately. Quickly make amends for them to be happy as well as able to pay. If they are withholding payment because of poor services or products, find ways to fix their issues without having to charge them more money.
Time is of the essence when it comes to repairing customer relations. The longer you take to address a disgruntled customer, the harder it’ll be to regain their trust. Act swiftly, and efficiently so that your customer retention rates don’t suffer, or your revenue stream.
Class Action Lawsuits
Is your company facing a class-action lawsuit or some other type of legal battle? All sorts of businesses end up in court for a variety of reasons. Some are frivolous, many others are not.
In the United States, a class-action lawsuit allows several plaintiffs to use the same evidence to prove that their claim has merit (and more often than not does). This type of approach helps each plaintiff save time because they can present the evidence once instead of having to do it several times.
Business owners have to prepare for the possibility of a lawsuit from customers or workers. Employees who feel like they have been discriminated against by employers may also file a group lawsuit.
How to Manage Class Action Suits
Right off the bat, you’ll want to make sure you have a qualified attorney in your corner. Specifically, look for an attorney that specializes in helping corporations and businesses overcome claims.
Why? Because a class action lawsuit is filed against the company and its CEO or President – not the employees. Your class action attorney will need to be well-versed in handling large lawsuits, so you can have a swift resolution.
Instead of having to agree to a settlement, you could wind up getting the claim completely dismissed. It’ll be up to your attorney to do a thorough investigation, helping highlight the strengths and weaknesses of your defense.
If your case does end up going to court, make sure you have enough funds in your business account to cover the legal fees. Legal fees are going to range from one layer to the next, so it’s worth doing a little bit of price shopping.
Prepare for Business Disruptions Ahead of Time
It’s clear to see that preparation and planning are key to overcoming business disruptions. If you’re looking for a way to reduce operational disruptions, the steps outlined in this article are an excellent place to start. However, you’ll need to take things one step further by creating a customized action plan that relates to your company.
Next, look for ways to prevent disruptions from happening in the first place. You can start by looking into ways to help your company go paperless, to avoid costly communication disruptions! For more advice like the tips in this article, read another one.