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Crisis management for startups: Things you should know

'Crisis management for startups

It is a known fact that a startup may witness shockwaves due to a crisis. Understanding how to deal with one and most importantly learning from it will help ensure that a startup venture is able to survive it. This post will help in navigating the issues using crisis management for startups.

Most often, it has been noticed that crisis management is the last thing on the entrepreneur’s mind in his list of things to worry about. Most organisations irrespective of their size should be in a position to learn how to handle a crisis situation on their own.

Experts feel that entrepreneurial ventures should be honest when they commit mistakes and address the situation by apologising quickly. A crisis can hit during any juncture and is most likely to take place in any form.

Hence, startup crisis management assumes deeper relevance and is a great tool to resolve a crucial situation.

Negative publicity, which surfaces from a crisis, is tricky business to deal with. Here, we have listed out some guidelines for how startups should handle sticky situations.

  • Stay calm

It is obvious that a crisis situation can lead to sudden panic. During a crisis, several doubts, questions and a certain amount of negativity is likely to crop up. It is crucial to keep your nerves steady and never succumb to pressure and panic. A startup venture should focus foremost on taking actions to resolve a crisis situation. 

  • Don’t blame the press or media

Yes, we understand that the media may ask questions which are uncomfortable to answer. But, it is crucial to share the truth and facts. Never resort to making excuses as it is logical that customers would like to know answers to what happened.

  • Share facts but never share inside details

Hiding facts can backfire in the long run. It is better to be truthful and avoid the assumptions. If you are not sure about answering the queries on your own, consult a legal counsel before issuing any statements.

  • Plan for the worst situation in advance

Think about the potential threats that your business could face in the future. It is crucial to be aware of these threats so that you are able to craft action plans if a crisis occurs in the future. It is one of the significant aspects of crisis management for startups.


  • Think and take steps

During a crisis situation, the business owner and leader should be at the forefront and never hide. Always think about attacking a situation instead of running away from it.

  • Learn from a crisis situation

It is advised that every startup should think about acknowledging the crisis and using it to their advantage. It is believed that a crisis situation is the best time to carry out the long-awaited changes.

  • Don’t let someone else shape your story

Never let others tell your story. Hence, shape your own narrative otherwise; someone else will do it for you.

  • Have an effective PR strategy in place

A good and efficient PR strategy is crucial for every business enterprise. Bad PR can negatively hamper your image and other processes such as investment, recruitment, business development, sales, etc. Spend time on PR as it is a continuous process.


If you do not have an in-house PR team, you can collaborate with an agency that specialises in PR for startups to get the best results. Ensure that you give them a clear picture of your goals and targets so that they understand what you expect them to achieve for you.

Experts state that when a startup venture spends time on a well-thought out public relations plan, the ROI can be incredibly valuable.

It is crucial to develop a pro-active crisis management strategy for responding to crisis at the earliest.

  1. Establishing a crisis management strategy and putting a new venture on the map pays off immensely — in all sorts of ways. A brief list of the potential outcomes comprise increasing visibility, raising employee and investor morale, multiplying customer/user base acquisition and retention efforts.

  2. Crisis management doesn’t happen by accident. In fact, it’s an important business function. Good crisis management skills will help you make you manage worse situations in the best possible manner. If your business does not have a proper crisis management plan in place, it will make everything cumbersome and tough.

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