Monday, February 22, 2010

Crisis Management In Small Businesses

Crisis Management is how a company deals with a major unpredictable event that threatens to harm its reputation, public image or business operations. When Crisis Management procedures are being implemented the unfavorable event has already occurred, which underscores the importance of creating a risk management plan to assess potential crisis and the best ways to avoid them.
  • Before planning for a crisis, management should be clear about what constitutes a crisis. A crisis must be a threat to the business, it must possess the element of surprise, the time needed to decide on what to do will be short, and it must necessitate changes to prevent the same crisis occurring again.
  • The types of crisis likely to be dealt with in a small business include, the ‘acts of God’, also known as Natural Crisis. They include earthquakes, flood, hurricanes, etc. A Technological Crisis is caused by human application of science and technology. For instance, when a company’s computers crashes or its machines break down.
  • A Confrontation Crisis will occur in a small business when discontented individuals or groups seek to pressure the company to accept their demands by using boycotts or picketing. Crisis of Malevolence is another unfavorable event a small business may encounter when individuals or groups use criminal or other extreme tactics to express hostility or anger toward a company by tampering, malicious rumors or espionage.
  • Crisis of Deception occurs when management conceals or misrepresents information about itself, or its products when dealing with customers or other stakeholders in the company. A small business may also have to deal with workplace violence when an employee or former employee commits violence against other employees over business related disputes.
  • The aforementioned crisis’ are few examples of the types of crisis management may have to deal with, however, depending on the size and nature of the business others may be added. But, regardless of the type of crisis, all crisis’ go through four phases. According to the crisis management model created by Gonzelez-Herrero and Pratt in 1995 the phases are: issue management, planning and prevention, the crisis, and post-crisis.
  • When creating a crisis management plan, under which falls risk management, the issues involved in each crisis should be identified, and strategies designed specifically for those alone, since crisis’ are different and will require different crisis management strategies to prevent or manage each.
  • Planning and Prevention involve preparing contingency plans in advance to best respond to each crisis. The crisis management team needs to periodically rehearse the crisis plan by developing simulated scenario to use as a drill to ensure that team members are adequately informed about the possibility of crisis and how best to prevent or manage them.
  • Despite the efforts to prevent a crisis from occurring, if it does occur, the crisis management team will provide the skills and techniques required to identify, assess, understand and contain the crisis, from the moment it occurs to when recovery procedures start. Crucial to this phase is for the company to designate an employee as spokesperson, and every effort made to truthfully inform customers and other stakeholders about the issues involved in the crisis and what is been done to correct them. Putting out untrue statements will harm the company, because the truth will eventually come out.
  • The debate is still unsettled on whether a company should apologize for the effects of a crisis on its customers, employees and shareholders, for fear it may open the floodgate of legal actions against the company. Still the value of an apology cannot be overstated. When a company apologizes for a crisis, it is telling its customers that it identifies with their pain and suffering, and is ready to make good what has been damaged, and where necessary to pay compensation for harm suffered.
All the planning and rehearsal of the crisis management plan will achieve very little if the company does not have adequate internal and external resources to call up when a crisis occurs. Also crucial is the free flow of timely information to responsible individuals within the company, to enable them inform the public truthfully about the crisis, what is being done to solve it, and steps taken to continue providing quality services to customers.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Dating - How To Be Noticed And Find Mr. Right

If you are single and feel that men do not notice you, then you have found the solution to your problem. The problem is not with the men at the office, the ones you see in the supermarket, or the ones you walk or drive by along the street; the problem is elsewhere. A change in attitude and body language is your solution.
  • First thing first, give close attention to your personal hygiene. If you are in your twenties you already know what good personal hygiene is all about: keeping in mind that offensive body odor turns men off, food particles stuck between the teeth is another turn off, and food stain on your clothes is yet another.
  • Often we are caught up in our own thoughts, or listening to the radio as we walk or drive along the street that we do not notice those attractive individuals walking by us or in the cars next to us. Want to know a great secret? If you notice people they will notice you back.
  • Let your body language say you are available, you are willing to talk, you are friendly. This means uncrossing your arms, not hiding behind objects such as a book or a laptop, and not hunching your shoulders. You don’t need to be seductive, simply be friendly.
  • If you want to be noticed, a great opportunity is lost when an attractive guy looks at you and you turn your eyes away. This tells him that you are not interested. If you are interested, meet his gaze. The right eye contact can say more than the hottest verbal conversation.
  • When a guy looks at you and you look back, but do not smile you are sending a mix message. Unless he is a daring young man, he may think you don’t want to be bothered. And quietly he will melt into the crowd or hide behind something. Relax your jaw and smile more, especially if you want to be noticed. Men will smile back, look your way, and ask you for a date.
  • After you have been dating at least for a year, if your guy continues to love going out and staying out late, then all is not well: especially if you want something different. A year is just about enough time for you and your guy to settle in and get closer in the relationship, enjoying romantic dinners and quite nights at home, just the two of you. At this early stage in the relationship if being alone with you doesn’t give him a good enough time, imagine what will happen in two or three years.
  • If your guy cannot commit to a date a couple days ahead, and must always wait the last minute to commit to one, it is a sure sign that you are not the only girl in his life. Men with several girlfriends like to keep their option open. Committing to a date too soon may rob them of a better choice later in the week. If you can deal with waiting for hours for the phone to ring, or spending weekend nights alone by yourself, then you’ve found your guy, but if you cannot then its time to move on.
  • If your guy is not making an effort to become a part of your world by getting to know your family and friends, it’s an indication that he doesn’t want people to know that he is your man. You will also hear ridiculous excuses from him why he cannot go to events that are important to you. If this is happening, he is hiding something from you, and is the type who will leave at the first sign of problem, or when he meets another girl.
  • If your guy continues to need his single friends in his life after you have been dating for a while, that’s a sign of trouble. You don’t want him to immediately give up his friends because he met you. He might be a very sociable person and people naturally gravitate toward him, but you want to gradually help him become independent of them while you fill in the space as they become less important in his life. If he insists on hanging out with his buddies, you may choose to ride along, but once you find he is taking you nowhere get off that bus.
  • If your guy can see you only once a week, something or somebody is keeping him from seeing you often. But before you make any rush decision, find out if the nature of his job is the reason he cannot see you more than once a week. If his job is the reason, arrange to meet him twice a week when he is about to leave work. If you can do so safely and without breaking any law, by all means do so. Do something creative to surprise him when you meet so that he cannot wait to see you at the appointed time; keeping in mind it is for good reason that a bait is put on a hook.
If you have been dating this guy for a while, and you know his family and friends and he knows your family and friends, and you feel safe and happy with him, but you have agreed to live in separate homes, you should have the keys to his apartment and he should have yours. If he is not ready to give you the keys to his apartment that’s a sign of problems ahead, heed it.

You are beautiful, and there are attractive men out there waiting to meet you. Change your attitude and body language and be noticed.