Business Crisis? What Crisis?

No-one likes a crisis. That’s why it’s far too common for even the most successful entrepreneur to overlook crisis planning. The challenge is that once you’re in the middle of a true business crisis, you rarely have the time or the resources to deal with it as well as you would want to.

After all, you could find yourself thrown into a very tense situation — trying desperately to deal with members of the media, angry clients, disenchanted employees, wary investors, intrusive regulators and other critical stakeholders.

It’s an emotional time and all it takes is saying ONE wrong word and your business can suffer. That’s why in BusinessCast episode #123, Robert and I “pick the brains” of one of the Nation’s leaders on crisis communications. Dr. Allan Bonner and his team have advised Canada’s most senior business leaders, political figures and sports figures to successfully avoid a crisis, deal with a crisis and turn around a crisis to their advantage.

Listen to BusinessCast episode #123 and get some practical insights on how you can make sure that you’re prepared when a crisis hits your business.

Remember: Subscribe to the BusinessCast Podcast at iTunes

BusinessCast Round-Up

Well, Robert and I have done over 20 shows since our last BusinessCast Podcast round-up. These shows are always popular because they give all entrepreneurs — i.e. new subscribers and loyal listeners alike — a quick and easy way of hearing what business-critical issues we’ve covered over the last handful of months. So, in BusinessCast Podcast #89 – Greatest Hits Vol. 3 we highlight some of the most essential topics and key learnings from BusinessCast episodes as far back as episode #67.

Specifically, in Greatest Hits Vol. 3 we highlights shows AND key BusinessCast blogposts where we provided practical tools and advice to help entrepreneurs address key issues such as:

  • Building Profile for Your Business
  • Developing Sales Incentives That Increase Revenues
  • Tackling Crisis Communication
  • Establishing a Strong Foundation in Mobile Marketing
  • Speaking Confidently in Public
  • Securing Financing
  • Emerging Stronger When Good Employees Leave
  • Finding the Right Business Partner
  • Increasing Cash Flow
  • Dealing Effectively with Cross-Generational Values
  • Overcoming Sales Objections

In so doing, we also recount some of our most memorable guests, including:

  • Catherine Swift (Canadian Federation of Independent Business)
  • Michael Younder, Senior Product Marketer (Research in Motion)
  • Paul Chato, President of YourWebDepartment and member of the Canadian comedy troupe the Frantics
  • Bruce Hunter, Fortune 500 heavyweight and insightful author

And, we do it all in under 20 minutes!

As always you can listen to each of the shows we touch upon in Greatest Hits Vol. 3 by clicking on the BusinessCast Podcast Archives.

Finally, a quick thank you to all BusinessCast Podcast fans who voted for us in the 2008 national blog and podcast competition. The BusinessCast Podcast Canada’s was voted as Canada’s 2nd most favourite podcast!

Remember: Subscribe to the BusinessCast Podcast at iTunes

Calgary Flames President & CEO Tells All

Well a few weeks ago, we sat down with former Calgary Flames President & CEO, Ron Bremner. The result: BusinessCast Podcast #71 – Part One of Hockey Lessons for Business. His insights and personality certainly sparked a lot of strong emotions.

The truth is that some people appreciated where Ron was coming from, the challenges he faced and his approach to tackling them. At the same time, others didn’t quite see eye-to-eye with Ron’s approach.

Well, Ron had some further business lessons and now they can be heard on BusinessCast Podcast #73 – Part Two of Hockey Lessons for Business.

You’re an entrepreneur so, listen to the shows – and you be the judge. Does Ron have it right? What’s your take?

**Make sure you check out the BusinessCast Podcast ‘Blog Review’ Episode where we outline how you can get some practical business books for free!**

Remember: Subscribe to the BusinessCast Podcast at iTunes

When Top Performers Leave

In a few weeks, Robert and I are going to address a topic that dozens of people have asked us to address (in one way or another): “What should an entrepreneur do when a top performering employee leaves the business to pursue other opportunities?”

The way an entrepreneur deals with this challenge sends a very strong message to several key stakeholders such as employees and customers. So, tune in later in September for the BusinessCast episde “What to Do When Top Performers Leave“.

Also, tune in next week for BusinessCast episode #73 – Hockey Lessons for Business (Part 2). We pick up where we left off with former President and CEO of the Calgary Flames, Ron Bremner . Ron weaves compelling stories from his days when he served as the force behind the Flames — working to get the team out of a deep crisis.

Finally, make sure you check out the BusinessCast Podcast ‘Blog Review’ Episode where we outline how you can get some practical business books for free!

Remember: Subscribe to the BusinessCast Podcast at iTunes

Crisis Communications – A True Measure of Leadership

There’s been alot of discussion in the Toronto press recently about business communications. That’s because two local organizations, who have been faced with very public catastrophes, have been dealing with their own crisis in such drastically different ways.

One company — a food manufacturer and distributor — has taken a decisive stance and made every effort to reach out to the press. They are re-assuring the public that they are ‘taking charge’ of the situation. While people’s lives have been lossed as a result of a breakdown in their work processes, the company isn’t shying away from taking responsibility. On the other hand — a petroleum wholesaler/distributor — has limited its conversation to the public through its lawyers. Their silence has caused outrage in some residential communities and they’ve been villified in the court of public opinion.

On two recent BusinessCast Podcast “Blurbs” (available only through iTunes), Robert and I review a handful of key messages that you — as a business leader — should provide to the press when you are faced with a public crisis.

In such situations, you should also act in the following ways:

1) Be Clear — Have a concise and jargon-free message. Repeat it. Be confident and honest. And, remember that any misleading or ambiguous statement that you provide will come back to haunt you.

2) Be Fast — Reach out to all relevant stakeholders as soon as possible. This typically includes clients, prospects, investors/shareholders, suppliers and the media. And remember the most often neglected set of stakeholders during a public crisis: your employees.

3) Be Strong — Your ability to run your business — hence your business’ longevity — will be associated with the confidence with which you deal with your public crisis. This provides you with an opportunity to demonstrate your decisiveness, courage, ability to empathize (if the crisis harms people) and determination to set things right.

*NOTE: We’ve just started the “BusinessCast Business Resource Give-Away”. Listen to the BusinessCast Podcast posted on August 31 for details how you can get some of the latest business books absolutely free!!*

Remember: Subscribe to the BusinessCast Podcast at iTunes

Have You Planned for Your Next Business Crisis?

Every business gets rocked by crises — at least once. And, truth be told, usually more often than that!

Sometimes the crisis comes in the form of a key person leaving. It can take the form of a strong competitor blanketing and sustaining a heavy promotional ‘push’ or dramatically underpricing your offerings. Alternatively, crises may come in the form of a very public error in judgement or processes.

The consequences of your next business crisis can be minimal or potentially disasterous. For example:

  • Losing short- and/or long-term sales
  • Lengthening the sales cycle
  • Employees leaving
  • Investors cashing-out
  • Law suits

The rule of the thumb is to devote time, energy, and resources to crisis planning directly proportional to the potential seriousness of the consequences you would face.

Robert and I have found that most entrepreneurs are very aware of potential crises and often, they have even identified likely time frames when crises could hit them! However, entrepreneurs — who tend to be very enthusiastic — are equally as unlikely to plan for crises to avert or minimize their consequences.

This ability for entrepreneurs to foresee crises and yet not prepare for them strikes us as highly problematic. So, let us know about your state of crisis planning. And, we’ll share the results in an upcoming BusinessCast podcast.

Remember: Subscribe to the BusinessCast Podcast at iTunes