Crises are an inevitable part of life, so of naturally they're an inevitable part of business. Sometimes an order will ship late, threatening a relationship with a client. Dell Small Business can help.
Small businesses tend to have more at stake during a crisis. One lost client or customer can be the difference between making it to the end of the year and needing to cut staff or overhead. One bad computer could end an entire company when things are on a smaller scale.
Because of that, it's important for small businesses to know how to manage crises as they come up. Whether that crisis is employee-related, or tech-related, you'll want to know how to keep treading water and survive. Particularly with technology, you'll want to make sure you’re prepared with the right people and resources to help you weather any storm.
Small businesses have a real partner in Dell. Dell wants small businesses to succeed and offers special deals on their products along with an entire department — Dell Small Business Central — to help small businesses with their technology-related questions and issues. Check out tips, gleaned from Dell's Inside Sales Director Burt Powers, for how to skillfully manage a small business crisis below. These three suggestions should help you in a majority of situations. Call 877-Buy-Dell to speak with an adviser today to see how Dell can help your business flourish.
1. To get through the crisis, stay calm
When a person panics, they're not thinking clearly. Fear takes over and decisions can be made haphazardly or with missing information. In a crisis, the need to make the source of the panic stop can overtake rational thought. One of the best things you can do in a moment of crisis is take a deep breath and remain calm.
Don't focus on what could go wrong in the crisis — instead focus on what you can actually do moment-to-moment. If customers are calling to complain that a big shipment had a glaring flaw, set your best staff on phones and decide what you will be giving to customers as an apology gift or deal before you lose your cool. The better you keep your cool, the faster you'll be out of the crisis, according to Burt Powers.
Burt says that Dell works hard to keep focused during outages and other crises with their equipment in order to help small business owners stay in control as well. They stay in active communication to help maintain a sense of calm and focus on the status of what's happening. Resolving an issue quickly is paramount, and to do that, Dell's team has to keep a handle on the situation. Small business owners have to follow that same path on their end as well.
2. Plan ahead
Some crises can be anticipated. Not necessarily to the exact time and affected customer, but some businesses come with some predictable difficulties or risks. In a small business that hand-wraps each of its products before sending them out, it's possible to run out of packaging materials, or an encounter an incident when employees accidentally break the products while wrapping them.
What could a small business do in a moment like this, and what could it do to prevent them? If a small business owner gives some thought ahead of time, and considers the worst-case scenario before it manifests, the crisis might be considerably smaller, or less likely to happen thanks to a little planning ahead. This is key in managing a sudden crisis.
Burt gives a three-point piece of advice to all small businesses that deals with planning ahead.
First, when a business works with Dell, he makes sure Dell doesn't just provide them with immediate technological needs. He wants to plan for future needs as well. It's good practice to make a similar plan with your own business.
Second, think about security of your tech, and of the data your business accumulates. Your data is important and valuable, not just to your business, but also to others. A small business is less likely to have expensive resources to keep data safe, so think about what your business is able to accomplish in the realm of security.
Third, think about ways to make sure your small business has immediate capital available. Dell has business credit and leasing options for its products, allowing for small businesses to have some flexibility with their finances. Thinking about how and when to spend money requires planning ahead, so you can see how valuable it is to practice in general, and how it can really help mitigate crises as they emerge.
3. Have an expert IT partner
We live in a digital age. Entire businesses exist solely on the internet. Computers aren't just a helpful office feature, they're the number one necessity for even getting a small business started. You need good, reliable tech to work well in this day and age, and you need people who know how to work it and fix it.
Therefore, you want to make sure the place you get your tech from is has a reliable reputation. A reliable company will be right at your side during a crisis — which benefits small business that can only afford so many risks.
Dell keeps its focus on problem-solving with the application of its technologies, finding gaps in a business's needs, and also planning for what comes next. On top of that, Dell is there to answer your questions and provide assistance through its ProSupport and ProSupport Plus services.
Support specialists are always available and able to help with any tech-related problem, as well as any issues a customer might have while working with Dell. As Burt boasts, there is actually an individual in Dell's small business team whose only job is to help navigate customers through the steps of care, tech, and ownership experience resolutions.
Dell knows both technology and small businesses. You can worry a little less during a crisis with an expert IT partner on your side by calling 877-Buy-Dell and speak with an adviser today. Don't forget to check out Dell's business deals and get started on your journey to optimizing your business for whatever life throws your way.
Remember, you want to keep calm and plan ahead with a strong IT partner by your side. Dell can be that partner and help your business carry on to fight another day.
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