Often times, business owners spend so much time worrying about whether they’re running their business at its optimum potential that they forget to consider the things that might disrupt their business. The unexpected, by definition, could happen at any time and, sometimes, it is impossible to plan ahead for every possible eventuality.
For example, a key member of staff might have to leave for a while (or for good), your most important client could lose interest in working with you, or you may even struggle with an employee being injured at your workplace. Whatever happens, it’s a stellar idea to make sure that you’re prepared, as the unexpected can lead to serious consequences for your business.
Identify the Crises that could Take Place
The first step in preparing for the unexpected is identifying the problems that are most likely to happen around your business. Think about what could happen in your industry that might disrupt the flow of business. To do this properly, you may need to think about the key functions of your business, the equipment and assets that you use, your supply chain, and what your business is dependent on in terms of serving customers.
Understand How Unexpected Circumstances could Impact Your Business
Once you have made a list of all of the possible problems that could go wrong within your business, it’s important to understand the impact that they could have on your company. In turn, take each crisis and attempt to understand the implications. For example, what would happen if you lost your access to the Internet for a day?
If your employees are injured in the workplace, you may find that you end up dealing with a personal injury lawyer and therefore you’ll need to be sure you have all the correct paperwork in check, including the injury logs. Do you know how to do that?
Assess How You can Minimize the Risk
Think about how likely each of the crises you have considered could be. For example, if your company works with plenty of heavy equipment and dangerous materials, then you may be more likely to find that an accident occurs within the workplace. By thinking about the likelihood of each risk, you can gain some perspective and think about the actions that you need to take in order to reduce those risks.
Think about the steps that can be taken to reduce the impact of a problem later. For example, you might decide to implement better staff training alongside health and safety procedures.
To reduce the chance of theft, you may install alarm systems into your premises, and buy virus protection for your computers. Whatever the risk, you will often find that there is some sort of solution available that helps to mitigate it.
Proper Contingency Planning
Once you have come up with a plan on how you can reduce the risks within your business, the best thing that you can do is test that plan and make sure that it goes smoothly. Realizing that something you have put together doesn’t work before the unexpected happens is much preferable to discovering you haven’t thought it all the way through after the event takes place.