Despite a long-established crisis management literature that focuses on large enterprises, crisis management planning in the context of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) is less extensively researched. Using data collected from 215 SMEs in the United Kingdom, this paper explores the perceptions and experiences of SMEs' managing directors in relation to crisis management planning. Furthermore, the paper examines differences in perceptions between planning and non-planning SMEs. Analysis reveals six factors that correspond to resilience through planning, financial impact, operational crisis management, the perfect storm, the aftermath of survival and atrophy. Results indicate how the experience of crisis and the type of crisis of type encountered affect managers' assessment of whether planning can be used to address crisis prevention and lower impact.