As Edna on The Incredibles said, “Well, I’m sure I don’t know, darling. Luck favors the prepared”. I can’t read this without hearing her voice.
If you are in business you need to prepare for the things that not only might happen but for the things that will happen. There are processes to help determine what your business might encounter, like the SWOT analysis. (Here’s a simple explanation of SWOT Analysis). What you need to do is find a way to evaluate what is going to happen and plan for it. I do this by asking questions – here is my process.
What am I doing?
Whatever I am doing in my business I think about what I would do if I could not do it this way. This may sound kind of negative, so I recommend starting the statement with some gratitude. For example: I am really happy my Windows programs are working the way they are supposed to, what would I do if I did not have access to them?
What would I do?
Then I answer the question. If I cannot answer the question I need to develop a strategy around how I could manage without or what I would have to do the get it back. As many of you know I recently went through some technology challenges. My last e-zine article talked at some length about this (Redundancy: How not to fail when everything around you is)
Some Business-Stopping Items to Evaluate
- Physical location
- Program or file compatibility
- Phone and / or Cell
- Contractors / consultants / employees
Story – Car Issues
We’ve all had them. These are “GOING TO HAPPEN”. Even a brand new car is not immune to car issues. One year I had a new client in Toronto (I live 60km North of the Greater Toronto Area). I do most of my work via Internet, but for this project I needed to see the client’s product and be taught to work it. This was my first interaction with this client and I had to be there.
My reliable car died the day before. It was in the shop. Normally, if I was staying in Barrie I would not do anything. My evaluation is that I can drive my husband to work and use the van if I need to be somewhere local. This was not an option if I go out of town. We had two kids in school and one in daycare at the time so someone had to be available in case of an emergency. (You know there is always an emergency when you are down one vehicle or parent.)
I had to rent a car for the day. I got to my client’s site, they had no idea I had any issues and the project went on as expected.
It doesn’t sound like rocket science, but how many of us get stuck and our businesses stop because something in our process changes. If it does, you need to know what you could do (this will remove the stress) and don’t let your client know (if you can help it). This way you will look like you are always on top of your game.
Now you are “on top of your Game” be thankful for it. A little gratitude goes a long way when growing a business.
Have you ever had an issue in your business you had foreseen and you were prepared for?Have you ever had one you were not prepared for? Did it cost you business?
Let us know in the comments below.