Running a business is not always “roses”. Bad things can happen when you least expect them. Optimism is good, but anticipating a possible crisis is better.
What can happen? A fire or flood; losing your biggest account; losing a key employee or getting sick; a lawsuit, or having a family emergency. No, I don’t recommend that you live in fear, but I do recommend that you do some forward thinking and plan for the unexpected.
Just as I recommend that all business owners complete The Be prepared Book,( available at www.strategicduck.com) I also recommend that all small businesses incorporate the following suggestions:
- Systems: Have systems in place so that a complete stranger can come in and run your business in case of your absence. The idea is to have good enough systems in place, in writing, so that your business can continue. My experience is that when a business sets such systems in place, the entire operation is reviewed and positive adjustments are made in all areas of management and marketing.
- Back up everything: make sure that all your computer records are backed up and stored in a safe place, somewhere other than your office location. Another back up suggestion is to have all your staff backed up by another staff member; in other words, two people know how to do each task.
- Emergency contact list: This includes your accountant, attorney, computer consultants and even medical emergency personnel.
- Insurance is important to all businesses. This includes not only a life policy on the owner but also business insurance, replacement insurance and E & O insurance if needed. Work with your insurance broker and attorney to make sure you have the right type of coverage.
A small business requires more back up systems than a large one; the owner is usually the key employee and often, the only one who knows how to operate the business. Take the time to implement a “crisis management system”. It will not only prepare you in case of an unforeseen situation, but in the process you will also streamline your operation.
By failing to prepare you are preparing to fail.
Nick J Petra email@example.com
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