Taking some time to predict and plan for potential problems can help you avoid tight spots later down the line. The last thing you want is to be blindsided by an issue that you could have avoided. The best run businesses in the world have contingencies for just about every possible negative scenario.
So how can you predict and plan for potential problems?
==> Continuing Education for Staff
Your staff should always be up to date on the latest issues in the industry as well as the latest techniques for resolving those issues.
Let’s say you run an SEO firm. If your staff isn’t staying up to date on the latest SEO techniques, it’s very easy for your competitors to catch up and surpass you before you know what hit you.
==> Have Redundant Systems
Have redundant systems, as well as checks and balances systems. In other words, have contingencies for what happens if a certain system fails.
Let’s say you run a business that ships about 50 items per day at $100 apiece. You have a fulfillment house that ships all your items for you.
Even so however, it still makes sense to have a few hundred items sitting around somewhere that you can ship out if your fulfillment house fails for some reason.
==> Have Capital Padding
Working capital is one of the most important tools in business. Unfortunately, it’s also one of the most difficult to obtain resources, especially in the early days of a company.
Try not to expand faster than your capital allows. Having padding in your working capital can help you get through a lot of tough situations. It could be tempting to grow quickly, but if you’re not careful one mistake could drain you of all your cash if you’re operating beyond where you can realistically sustain.
==> Stay Tunes to Your Industry
Stay tuned to the changes in your industry. Read blogs by industry leaders. Subscribe to trade magazines in your industry. Regularly meet with other people who work in your field.
If there’s a storm coming, you should be able to see it coming. If you work in the optometry field and laser surgery is coming along, you should be expecting it and preparing for it several years in advance.
==> Watch Your Equipment & Technology
Do you have the right systems in place? Is your equipment up to date? While it’s not essential to always have the latest gear, it does make a difference, especially if your competitors are using it against you.
If you’re warehousing by hand and all your competitors are using advanced warehousing technology, you’ll quickly find that you just can’t compete on price anymore.
These are a few ways you can predict and plan for potential problems in your industry. While you can’t always see problems coming, these systems will help you prevent those problems from hitting you too hard.