How to Survive the Crisis Steps to Turn Your Business into a success

In January 1697, a Dutch explorer roaming the banks of an estuary of the Swan River discovered a curious sight – that of black swans. Up until that moment, it had been an established, unassailable fact that all swans were white.

The man, Willem de Vlamingh, would capture some of these swans and send them to Europe, changing ornithology as the Western World knew it.

In his 2007 book The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable, former Wall Street trader and risk analyst Nassim Nichola Taleb used these birds as a metaphor for extreme, outlier events that have profound and far-reaching consequences, not just for individual investors and businesses, but for the world economy.

Entrepreneurs who have aggressive risk management strategies in place will no doubt have heard of this metaphor. Find out how the concept of a Black Swan can give you insight into crises and how you can guide your business through potentially devastating events – predictable or unpredictable.  


Taking a closer look at the Black Swan

According to Taleb, a Black Swan as an event that is:

●  Rare and goes beyond regular expectations – the possibility that it might even occur is unknown, even to experts

●  Has catastrophic impact when it does take place

●  Often explained in retrospect as if it had been predictable all along


Examples of Black Swan events include:

●  The collapse of the Soviet Union

●  The rise of Google

●   The 9/11 attacks

And because of the unpredictable and disruptive nature of this kind of event, Taleb argues that it was important to always assume that a Back Swan event is a possibility and to plan accordingly, no matter how this event may take shape.

It is also important to note the difference between Black Swans and crises – not all Black Swan events necessarily have a negative impact, and not all crises are unpredictable. 

But whether you’re dealing with a Black Swan or a regular crisis, venture capital firm Sequoia Capital says that the businesses that survive are the ones that are most adaptable to change


How to prepare your business for crises and unpredictable events

●  Develop a crisis management plan – Assemble a crisis management team that will develop a robust crisis management plan for your business. This team can include different representatives from various disciplines or departments in your organisation.


You can also reach out to consultants with business, financial, legal, and media expertise if you’re a small business or sole proprietor.  Keep in mind that your crisis management plan is a living document that must be regularly reviewed and updated.


●  Demonstrate strong leadership – Any crisis management plan rests upon dependable, responsive, and highly visible leaders who will rise to the occasion should the business face a crisis.


●  Communicate quickly and consistently – During a crisis, it is crucial to communicate in a timely and tactful manner to all internal and external stakeholders.  Communications must include an acknowledgement of the problem and the corresponding solution(s). Messages must also be consistent and contain accurate information.  


●  Pivot your digital marketing strategy – Make provisions for updates to existing email and digital advertising campaigns to ensure consistency and avoid tone-deaf messaging.  You should also make timely and regular updates to your official website and social media accounts. Having a trusted digital marketing agency on retainer will help you revise your online marketing strategy as needed.


●  Invest in your employees – Train and empower employees to identify and call attention to potential issues as they engage in daily work-related activities. You should also train them in a way that helps them develop an understanding of their role in the business during a crisis so that they can respond and act accordingly.


Is your business ready for a Black Swan?

The Black Swan is a rare, once-in-a-lifetime event that can destroy – and build – businesses in one fell swoop. The good news is that not all crises are Black Swans, which means that you will be able to anticipate the majority of events that can throw your business into crises, allowing you to prepare and act accordingly.

Take the power of crises, whether foreseeable or not, into your own hands by developing resilience and an eye for opportunity. The ability to envision a new beginning for your business by learning as you go and making room for change will pay off when the dust settles. 




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