Give your company a stress test
Some people would call me a planner. I like to have everything mapped out from work tasks and family vacations to weekend projects around the house. I’ve got my life organized in various spreadsheets and other planning tools.
I take comfort in having an idea of what is supposed to happen next, though I know most things won’t go exactly according to plan. That’s one of the reasons I love our story about giving your business a stress test.
When economists and financial wizards are all predicting different future outcomes, how are small-business owners supposed to figure it out? You can’t — which is why testing your company’s ability to withstand certain financial disasters is incredibly valuable. You can’t stop an impending economic downturn, but you can prepare your moves for when it does hit.
Right now, things seem to be rolling: The stock market is up, consumer confidence is high, and the pool industry is growing and busy. If your business survived the Great Recession, you may feel it can withstand anything else thrown your way. Wasn’t that more or less the biggest stress test you could’ve endured?
Looking back on those hard years, though, I bet if you knew what was coming you would have behaved differently. Can you imagine how much healthier your company would be right now if you had a plan — even if things don’t happen exactly the way you imagine — for when you missed projections? It would still have been hard, but maybe not as hard.
Now is the time to prepare a plan for the next hardship, whatever and whenever it may be. Don’t wait until you’ve been off for three months to try and right the ship.
Megan Kendrick, managing editor