Business Owners, What Is Your Plan B?

Business StrategyIn the last four months we (the people who live in the Northeast U.S.) have been slammed with two major weather events which have basically shut down airports, businesses, electricity and more. Why do we live where we live? If this is how it is going to be here, maybe it is time to move to Louisiana, at least the food there is great!

What is clear if you own your own business and run your own enterprise, how much do forces not in your effective control have an impact on you and your business? Some may say, “Well I run a business totally on the internet, so it is not me you are talking about.”

Not so fast. Your servers, your ordering system or the stability of the internet as a vehicle for your business are all exactly the subject.

Essentially what is your Plan B? Not too long ago I wrote an article on change. I recommend you read that if you have not yet. Similar to a resistance to change, is the assumption you do not need to prepare for the unknown events which may impact your business. Of course you are not able to prepare for everything. This does not mean to ignore certain events which may be mapped out as potential threats to your business operations.

This does not have to be a complicated ordeal as the effort needed would depend upon the size and breadth of your business. A first step would be to address backup storage and backup systems. Consider how you would work if there were no access at all at your regular locations to any electricity or the internet. What is your Plan B?

If you have a retail location and the weight of the snow forces your roof to cave into your retail space, do you have alternate sources of obtaining inventory quickly to fulfill sales and to continue to sell from a remote location for a period of time? What is your Plan B?

You are encouraged to take a few minutes or more as needed and begin to write out where you and your business are exposed and specifically to what. Don’t worry about solutions yet. Spend the first portion of your time on this topic identifying the areas and the exposure. Share the list with your advisers and your key employees. See what else is added to the list. Once this is completed, and of course this is a fluid document which may be added to at all times, now consider alternative solutions and Plan B methods for each line item. The ability to take the time to conduct this effort will prove to be priceless, should you ever need to place your Plan B into action.

Mitch Tublin is an advanced certified personal and executive coach who lives in Stamford,CT.