I’m writing this post on the 11th day of January. Almost halfway through the first month of what I hope will be a breakout year for my business. But guess what? The running start I had planned hasn’t happened.
First, there was the flu. Yes, I had a flu shot, but I still got the flu. So last week, everything stopped before it got started. Then, snow. In much of the country, that’s not a problem. In Atlanta, where I live and work, snow is a four letter word. The world shuts down until warmer weather appears and releases us from the icy grasp of winter.
None of this is your problem, of course, but it can be instructive. What would you do if your business lost a week or two of productivity? It happens to everyone from time to time. We make great plans, we even plan for the “what ifs” and then, Wham! Everything falls apart.
- Do you have an alternate plan to keep your business running when things go awry? In the case of a fire, snowstorm, earthquake or other event, can your employees work remotely from home or a back-up location? Are your files accessible “from the cloud”?
- If you were to lose a major product or service offering, do you have something you could sell in its place? Suppose a component of your core product was recalled or became unavailable? What would you do? Having another option can keep revenue coming in while you deal with the issue.
- Could you cope with the loss of a key employee? We hate to think about it but life happens. People quit, get sick and sometime pass away. Don’t be complacent and put all your faith in one employee who knows everything. Cross train and back-up knowledge so your business can keep going.
- If your best customer pulled the plug, would you have others to take their place? If you get more than half your revenue from one customer, start looking for ways to generate new business. If that single customer were to shut down or take their business elsewhere, how would you replace them?
Every business needs a contingency plan. What’s yours?
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