It’s certainly been a year for natural disasters. From hurricanes on the east coast, to fires in our home state of California, the unexpected and uncontrollable has crippled many lives and businesses.

But did you know that there are a few preventative measures you can encourage in your company to make surviving a crisis – or even reopening after one – manageable?

Here are 6 core principals to ensure your business isn’t counted among the casualties.

1) Know Your Company’s Purpose

This may seem business-101, but for a surprising number of companies out there, few actually have a set purpose behind their service.

As a business owner, take the time to establish your “why” for what you do – including the community impact you want to leave, what you sell, and your company’s big picture of accomplishment.

2) Avoid Straying Off Purpose

It’s easy when there’s no clear business guidelines to get distracted with new service opportunities, new tasks for employees, and new shiny ideas that don’t coincide with your company’s purpose; especially for a business that’s so successful, management has a hard time keeping track of everything.

But if a crisis hits and a company is spread too thin to prioritize on what’s important, with employees focused on tasks ill-suited to their skill sets, it can be nigh impossible for that company to find its feet again in the midst of chaos.

Know your business purpose, and stick to it!

3) Encourage Employee Greatness

There’s arguably nothing more impactful than an employee who’s passionate about their job. It affects service, the quality of work, the customer, the workplace dynamic… even sometimes everyday business expenses!

And when a crisis hits? That healthy dynamic can spell the difference between surviving and thriving.

Feed into your employees to encourage greatness in them – instilling the same love for the company you share!

4) Implement Good HR

Though similar to the point above, this one is more for you and your attitude towards your employees. Do you have good relationships with them, along with a quality Human Resources department for internal issues?

If the answer is no, its highly unlikely your employees are going to want to stand by your side when trouble hits the business.

5) Empower Your Employees Towards Self-Direction

Though in no way is it recommended to remove management entirely, those in charge should still empower employees towards self-direction.

That way, if a crisis strikes, your staff will be more prepared to deal with situations as they come, solving problems on their own rather than feeding every little issue up the hierarchy for direction – wasting time, money, and effort.

6) Establish Workplace Trust

A crisis of any kind can be a trying time for all involved in a business, and if there’s little to no trust in the workplace, relationships, jobs, and companies can be broken in the mayhem.

As a business owner, it’s imperative that in all things you’re constantly working to not only have the cooperation and respect of your employees, but also their love and trust too. And this can only be achieved by daily, intentional, positive effort.

“During flush times when everything is going smoothly, businesses can sometimes get by without following the basic fundamentals,” Alex Zlatin, CEO of Maxim Software Systems, says.  “But when times get rough, that is when businesses which have those pillars in place can not only survive, frequently they can eat their competitors’ lunch.”

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