No business owner wants to fail or record losses but sometimes it happens, it could come as not making enough sales, losing a deal to a competitor, not being able to pay staff, or losing properties to unexpected circumstances (natural disasters, looting, fire outbreak, etc)
While it is helpful to have a strategy for cases like this, it might not always work out. Some businesses have ended but others have gone beyond the setbacks they faced. When unforeseen events affect your business, what should you do?
- Business Continuity Plan: You can only rely on this if you already have one. It is important you draft a strategy for your business to keep operating when those events happen. (You can refer back to our post on BCP). The usefulness cannot be overemphasized. If you don’t have one, you can still come up with a new plan.
- Energize Your Mind: You’ll need to find an activity that can ease your mind and renew your energy. If you don’t find strength to get back up, you won’t be able to make any change. Your mind needs to be able to lead you through the situation, it can only do that once it has been energized.
- Create A New Plan: If there was no backup strategy, come up with a new one. How can you turn this ship around? Get professional help as to how you can get your business back up. You will most likely not be able to solve it alone, so consult with your team or a consulting firm and create a new plan.
- Address The Issue Publicly: You’ll need to release a press release, explaining things from your own perspective. Your choice of words really matter. As much as you’ve lost properties, you also don’t want to lose your customers, so key into their emotions and get them to believe you can get back up.
- Implement The Plan: You can now implement the BCP or the new plan depending on the category you find yourself. This process may take time depending on the degree of loss or failure.
While doing all these, you need to be careful not to make hasty emotional decisions but well planned ones. You’ll also need to have a strong team/support system to help you through it. We’ll now consider how Spar Nigeria responded to the recent looting of one of their outlets.
Brief Case Study of SPAR Nigeria
Spar Nigeria is a superstore that provides a wide range of household products, they have their supermarkets in some of the states in the nation. They boast of quality and affordable prices at their stores, and have 14 stores in 5 states.
After the #EndSARS street protest, their Lekki store was looted and destroyed, just as many other businesses and stores during that period. Their store in Calabar was also threatened but was protected. It was a great loss for them.
As opposed to some businesses that had to close down temporarily, SPAR Nigeria continued operations in their remaining outlets, they obviously had a continuity plan, and released time of operation at different stores for their customers.
Also, they addressed the looting of the store without pushing blame on anyone but with empathy. They supported the cause and hoped for the best. In their words; “…Rebuilding a supermarket is hard. Rebuilding a nation is even harder. We stand with you Nigeria…” They considered the greater good and assured their customers they were going to rebuild.
After all these, they then amazed their customers by assuring them of having #BlackFriday sales from 20th – 30th November, 2020. What better way to bounce back than this? It all started from having a continuity plan and the rest was worked on.
What do you do when things go South? Start from getting prepared for days like that, then build up from there. There’s always hope to rebuild and restrategize when moments like this come but you need to have a plan.