I am not a crystal ball reader, nor a prophet but, even without knowing what kind of business you own and run I can certainly tell you, YOU will LOSE MONEY in 2017. The good news is that you can do something about this. As business owners, we are so busy working for and on our businesses, that we tend to forget the basic issues that might and will arise at some point. Worse than that, we fail to plan for those issues.
Before I continue, I want to tell you the #1 reason why your business will lose money, ready? Business disruptions. As I mentioned earlier in this post, we are busy running our businesses and forget that we cannot control everything. Some of us might think we can control everything…LOL. However, that is a lie that we tell ourselves to have a false sense of security or peace of mind. The truth is that we cannot control everything, not in our businesses, nor anywhere.
What exactly is a business disruption? Simple: it is any event, issue, complication, or interruptions of any business process that prevents your business from operating as usual. I know that this is a broad definition but, it is the most appropriate as business disruptions are an unlimited number of variables. Now, let me paint a picture so you can see why I say business disruptions are unlimited:
Your new record keeping employee accidentally deletes your database, while trying to update it.
A technology failure causes all your computers to crash and you have no way to process electronic transactions.
A major accident prevents you from delivering your products or services as promised.
Your credit card/ billing system is hacked, and your bank “temporarily suspends” all transactions.
One of your employees is infected with chicken pox and unknowingly infects other employees and customers causing a health scare and investigation.
As you can see, there are unlimited number of reasons why your business might be disrupted. Maybe you never see any of these scenarios but trust me, your business will be interrupted during 2017. Hopefully not too many times, because every hour your business is down, or disrupted you lose money and clients. In fact, it is estimated that in average US businesses face 87 hours of downtime per year costing them between $500.00 to $60,000 US Dollars per hour depending on the industry (Gartner.com). I know that small and mid-size businesses won’t exactly have the same dollar amount but I just want to give you an idea.
Fortunately, there are ways to minimize risks: Contingency planning; You need to plan for disruptions and find potential solutions before the disruption occurs. Remember, you don’t have to plan for the worst case, end of the world scenario. Your priority is to plan for those every day, high probability risks, specific to your business. For example:
- Backup your database four times a day to a remote location, or to a secure cloud solutions.
- Have an alternate account with a second bank, in case your main account is hacked.
- Have an alternate payment processing method (maybe the mobile type like Stripe, Paypal, Square, etc).
- Write down all alternate processes so your staff knows what to do.
As you can see, contingency planning is not planning for the end of the world, (Why would we even bother to plan if its ending anyways?). It is planning for those every day risks, those risks that have high probability of happening because of technology, processes or simply because of your business’ location.
What are your business’ risks? Do you have a plan in place?
If you don’t have a plan make your goal to have a plan, so your business can have a strong 2017. Start with the basics! Even the most basic plan will get you farther than having no plan (not to mention that your competitors probably will not have a plan). You don’t need much to start. Sit down for 10-15 minutes, analyze your business and identify its specific risks. Once you have identified your business’ specific risks, start thinking about potential solutions, even if the solutions are temporary. Don’t wait until it’s too late. Start planning before the disruption occurs.
If you need assistance, keep in mind that I offer a free initial consultation. Let me help you get clear on your risks, business needs and potential solutions. Remember, false sense of security is not security, and peace of mind is just priceless. Prepare your business to face challenges and I promise you, you will not regret it. If you want to schedule your initial consultation, please fill the contact form. Let’s start 2017 with a strong plan, and make 2017 a great year for your business!