What to Do When a Company Loses its Founder
Preparing for the worst equips every SME to deal with any kind of crisis — even the loss of a founder.
PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images
Nothing can fully prepare us for all of life’s curveballs, but we all do what we can to cope and move on. Those in the ever-changing world of entrepreneurship are especially good at adapting and changing gear, so much so that “pivot” has turned into a buzzword. However, when something truly shocking happens, pivoting is easier said than done.
Losing a founder is one of the most painful things a business can endure. The founder is typically the heart of the company—he or she typically has the vision, the passion, the know-how, and the network to actually get things done. So when a company is blindsided by its founder’s dismissal, illness, or death, it could spell doom for the whole company.
But it doesn’t have to.
By preparing and equipping your team to deal with any kind of crisis, your company can overcome any hardship, with or without its founders. Here are a few things every business can do to prepare for the worst.
1. Build a solid team
Here’s something you should always keep in mind. If you want your company to succeed, nobody should be indispensable—that includes the founder. In the event that a company loses some of its so-called key people, it should be clear that the remaining staff can step up and continue the work that the company has set out to do.
We don’t know what the future holds, so leaders should be confident that their team can carry on and excel, even without them. Your team should have capable people with whom you can entrust to handle important functions and information. And if there aren’t, find them.
2. Inform the stakeholders
When a company’s leadership structure experiences a shake-up, it’s important that it communicates the message that its business is still secure. That means informing clients, investors, its employees, and the media, if necessary. By not doing so, you risk letting potentially harmful rumors take control of your company’s narrative, which could affect each and every segment of your business.
3. Look for advice you can trust
Losing a leader isn’t easy. For the people who are left behind, it can even be frightening. What happens next? Even if you’ve laid out a contingency plan for the worst-case scenario, taking the next step can be daunting.
Junie Veloso, Head of Business Banking at BPI says, “That’s why getting support is imperative. Whether that means getting your employees a grief counselor or asking for financial advice from an expert, getting sound advice from people you trust helps you put things into perspective and move forward.”
You can also ask people who have been through similar situations how they coped with it. If you don’t know anyone who can give you the advice you need, you can probably ask one of your contacts to connect you with someone who can.
4. Insure your business
Setting up an SME is a risky venture. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t protect yourself from unforeseen circumstances. The key to dealing with crises is staying one step ahead. Look for an insurance plan designed to soften the blow of a crisis.
Take the BPI Business Care Advantage Insurance, for example. Perfect for small businesses, Business Care Advantage protects your business from natural disasters like earthquakes and typhoons, as well as robberies, water damage, and more. It also includes personal accident insurance, which provides monetary benefit for accidental death and disablement, medical reimbursement, and burial expense. You could also insure against losses from business interruptions caused by disasters covered in the policy.
“It is always best to be prepared in case something unfortunate happens,” Veloso says, “This way, you, as a business owner, can focus on running your business and getting it to the level of success you have always dreamed of.”