Managing A Portable Restroom Rental Business Through A Crisis

It may always seem like there’s too much to do and that there will never be time to bother making a formal plan for crisis management. Yet, we’ve seen that the world is more unpredictable than we may have once believed. We also know that businesses that had positioned themselves best to manage through a crisis were at a great advantage during the economic shutdown over the past couple of years. Having a durable crisis management plan for every type of possible disaster can prevent collapse or severe damage to your business’s brand and its financial health and sustainability.

Which Disasters Need Crisis Management Plans?

Of course, the range of possible catastrophic events that can impact your business is vast, including regional natural disasters and national economic crises. Others may include social unrest, building fires, extended power outages, terrorist attacks, or oil spills. More ordinary but nevertheless destructive developments can include supply chain breakdowns, employment market changes, materials shortages, and others. Internal crises can include the loss of company leaders, sabotage, fraud, embezzlement, lawsuits, and many other adverse developments.

What Should the Plan Include?

Building a crisis leadership team, creating a practical crisis management plan, and visualizing how each type of crisis could be expected to impact the operations is the starting point. An effective plan would emphasize the expectation of flexibility in the team. It would account for staff training on how to follow the plan in an emergency, and it would provide a clear picture of each individual’s role in it. It would also provide guidance on assessing and responding to emerging situations. It would also emphasize avoiding a state of uncertainty by keeping all stakeholders informed, including employees, customers, and the public.

The crisis management plan would provide general guidelines and more specific instructions for establishing emergency leadership roles, locations, protocols, and procedures for continuing field services, customer services, maintenance, AR and AP, payroll management, and even sales.

• Form a strong leadership team that projects the relatability and company values that inspire your staff and community in a crisis.
• Assign employees and external service providers with the skills and experience most relevant to the disaster circumstances, such as HR, PR, construction, finance, legal, etc.
• Form a detailed plan for directing employees, allocating resources, and maintaining whatever operations may make sense to continue during the situation.
• Assess your plan’s feasibility, considering how a given kind of disaster is likely to affect your employees, customers, suppliers, and community.
• Lay out what the leadership team’s initial steps within the first hours and days should be, then for the following weeks and months. Your plan should include encouraging staff to emulate management.
• Update the various parts of the plan as needed to reflect changes in parts of your regular system you may hope to rely on in a crisis, cost changes, other external changes, etc.

When is the Best Time for Disaster Planning

There’s always too much to do in a busy company. There’s probably never a convenient time to undertake the daunting task of creating a comprehensive business continuity plan. It may seem too hard to find the right time to undertake such a big project that doesn’t even produce revenue. Especially not now, while growth momentum is so crucial. But, note that stability in the business sector has proven to be an illusion (hence the need for insurance, and a disaster plan).

So, it’s arguably always the right time to make a start on a disaster management plan — and at least get the basic framework in place. It’s sure to be a far worse challenge to manage an oncoming disaster without any plan than it is to do the extra work to create one as you go along during the normal course of doing business.

Even while your team strives to create growth or just stay above water, consider all the worst effects that could be avoided with a strong disaster response plan. Thinking about those realities should encourage business owners to start an initiative to begin building a response plan that at least provides the most general guidance in one or two types of disasters to which your business is most vulnerable.

Best Approach to Crisis Management Planning

Portable restroom rental businesses are often essential services during various kinds of crises. Being able to weather a disaster and helping others while incurring a limited impact on your business is likely to be due to the quality of your business continuity plan.

Reach out for input from business experts, peers, your employees, customers, IT experts, telecom services specialists, a lawyer, a financial specialist, etc. Get input from anyone who may have essential knowledge to offer on business crisis management.

In preparation for an event that may seriously damage or destroy your company’s physical assets, an addition to your continuity plan should provide for relocating administrative and/or operations functions as needed to maintain work in a protracted crisis.

As You Think About Business Continuity Planning

It may seem more realistic to view creating a crisis response plan as a “someday” way, way down the list. After all, you’ll be working to develop a plan you hope you’ll never use! But, again, like insurance, though you hope you’ll never use it, if you need it, it becomes the most important preparation you’ve made for the situation.
The largest companies can be severely impacted by some types of crises. Small and growing businesses are at much greater risk of being physically or financially obliterated by various kinds of disasters. Sufficient preparedness to manage through a crisis can make the difference to future success or failure. Even if that means simply consistently communicating as well as possible to let employees, customers, and the community know your plans.
Advanced disaster planning gives your team the critical advantage of time to develop the best possible strategies for managing succession or guiding the team through any other crisis.

Writing a disaster management plan is a big job. Using the tips above to help build the general framework for your crisis management plan is a good start. Finishing it little-by-little is much better than delaying the start of it. Being prepared in an emergency empowers people to step up and assume responsibility, vs hesitating to take charge in a crisis. That preparation can mitigate the threat to the long-term sustainability of a business in the aftermath of a catastrophic event.


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