When Tragedy Strikes

Since many people are still dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Irene, I thought this blog post from Stephanie Cockerl (submitted a while back) would be particularly timely. Please add your suggestions and ideas in the comments.

Whether you have been running your business for a few weeks or over several years, it is never too early to plan for the unexpected.

Situations have stuck me multiple times over the past several years. So I had to learn how to adjust as I was moving through the process.

Here are a few tips that are helpful for when the unexpected happens.

  1. Communicate with your current clients asap. It is important to let clients know of the situation. I’m not saying go into details. Only relay what’s necessary and how it can affect their projects.
  2. Build a list of colleagues. If you have been networking for a while, you should have a list of other folks who do similar things to what you do. Ask them if they can pitch in and in what role.
  3. Give the client the option to end the contract. Maybe a client was set on working solely with you. If they have the flexibility to wait until you return, great! If not thank them for their honestly and provide a list of other vendors they can approach.
  4. Give yourself time to get back on track. It’s ok to deal with your situation in your own time. As much as everyone would like you to pick up and continue to work, it’s not easy to do so, especially after a life changing situation. Don’t rush back. It is better to do things slowly and gain confidence than to rush back and do a bad job.

Dealing with a personal setback is never easy. It’s how you can handle it that reflects how you and your business adjusts.

How have you handled crisis when it affects your business?