We are accustomed to thinking that tomorrow will be a lot like today. This is quite reasonable – it matches most of our experience. But it is the other part of our experience we need to recall when planning for the future and when building a resilient business – the days when things changed, often not for the better.
Building a Resilient Business – Looking Back from the Future
How did we react? How did we bounce back? How resilient were we? There is rain in every personal forecast – these qualities often determine how quickly it ends, and how much sunshine the future turns out to hold. It is the same with our business endeavours. How resilient is your business?
Taggart & Partners is the small business advisor and small business accountant Brisbane trusts. We have experience assisting business owners in dealing with the risks and stresses of adverse circumstances. We’ve seen our share of storms in the business world and have gained much vast practical knowledge. We want to share our expertise with you and help strengthen your business against the unknowns of the future. All it takes to get started is calling (07) 3391 1188, e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org or getting in touch online.
Make a Plan
Above all, plan for trouble. Ask uncomfortable questions and imagine the outlier events that could seriously disrupt your progress and success. There is so much work involved in making a business go right that we can overlook much of what could go wrong. That’s where we need to start when building a resilient business.
Hopefully the business has good insurance, and we look to that to make up basic losses, but there is more to consider. If you spend the time to define potential significant failures, you can have a plan of action in place to counter them if they happen. For example, how will you communicate with suppliers and customers in the event your business cannot continue for a time? Who will be your point of contact for the outside world? This would be unique to each business and requires advance thinking. Even if it’s not exact or comprehensive, your plan will serve as a starting point at a time when stress and confusion are high, and ideas may be scarce.
Pick Your Trouble Team
Decide beforehand who you are going to rely on – a small group of dependable, loyal people whose priority will be getting the business back on track. They should know their own and each other’s roles in case of trouble. You can meet, game plan, and even role-play in trouble scenarios. You may want to designate a risk management leader, who will be on point for major setbacks, implementing the company’s plans so you have time and space to deal with unforeseen aspects and events – many of which will likely require executive-level decisions.
Back Everything Up
If you can keep electronic data secure, these days that’s a huge step forward when building a resilient business. The most basic and easiest way is to back everything up. Everyone knows this needs to be done, but not enough do it. It can be quite tedious, but it’s even worse to be left with nothing, and the loss usually happens without warning. Any staff member who is comfortable with computers can learn to do backups. Back up critical company phones as well as computers and electronic storage. Even an older backup that may be missing recent updates is vastly preferable to starting over from scratch. Store backups offsite in a secure and confidential location. Staff time spent backing up is exactly like paying for insurance.
Most companies are more unprotected from outside cyberattack than they realise. The question is usually when, not if, this causes trouble. Depending on the size of the business, a solution may be easy or complex. A relatively small-scale business may allow for high-quality boxed solutions, but that may not be enough for a larger firm, despite the attractive low cost. This is a decision requiring an expert eye – rely on a trusted partner to make the call or guide you to someone who can. Consider isolating computers with your most critical and confidential data from the internet – air gap them. As an alternative, all such data should be backed up regularly and the backups stored offsite – against what is, unfortunately, likely to be the inevitable day.
Positive Thinking About Cash Flow
This may not be possible for all businesses, but it is very desirable to achieve more than a single major source of cash flow. Trouble can strike indirectly, as when a big customer gets into difficulties. There will usually be little or nothing you can do to fix this for them and being able to rely on an alternate income stream for a while could keep the doors open. It could be well worth the time and effort spent to develop the new source of business when things are going well.
Team Up With Experts
An experienced and trusted advisor like Taggart & Partners can guide you through the process of building a strong and resilient business. Relying on good practical advice pays major dividends in time and stress saved – and if trouble strikes, Taggart & Partners will be there to help your resilient business weather the storm.