10th September 2019
The Responsible Business Owner - Part 3
Have you ever played a game of ‘What if..?’
What if I won £20m? What if the TARDIS was real?
Harmless, innocent fun – and something to while away a summer afternoon in a beer garden.
But have you also given proper thought to What if..? within your business.
One of the challenges of owning your own business is that should something go wrong, the buck stops with you. If you haven’t done some forward planning, that can leave you in a difficult position.
So let’s play a game of What if..? To help you build resilience in your business.
What if..? within your business
Suppose a crucial piece of equipment were to fail? Or there was a flood or a fire? Or your data got hacked? Do you know what you would do in these circumstances?
This type of planning is known as ‘business continuity planning’ – what you need to do to keep your business going if things go wrong.
This is, of course, why we have business insurance, which is vital and helpful for some of these issues. But business insurance will only cover you for financial losses – it won’t stop your customers going elsewhere while you are out of action and it certainly won’t bring them back again once you are up and running.
If you know now what you’d do, when something does go wrong, you’ll be better prepared to deal with it.
What if..? for your team
Your business relies on your people. You need them to keep the business running. Are you planning ahead to make sure they are there when you need them?
- Do your people understand where you want to take the business and how they fit within your plans?
- Are you forecasting the people you will need to recruit as the business grows? And how long it will take to recruit and train them?
- What are you doing to retain the skilled people you’ve got now? And to build their skills so they are better able to help you?
- How would you cope if a really big new customer signed up?
- Is everyone trained for major changes in legislation or trading arrangement (such as the new IR35 rules or Brexit)?
- Have you got holiday cover in place so that essential work doesn’t grind to a halt just because someone isn’t in the office?
- Is there someone in the team who is so vital the business can’t function without them?
Having a people plan is a critical part of your business planning and taking care of your team so they are ready to step up when you need them to, really helps you grow.
What if..? on yourself
This is your business. You’re the boss. You’ve shaped it and built it to get it to where it is today.
So what happens if something happens to you?
And what happens to your family if, for any reason, you aren’t able to work?
It is natural not to want to dwell on the prospect of accidents and ill-health but it does happen and there are three things to consider when it comes to your own what if..? planning:
- Prevention: Are you taking care of your health and wellbeing? Do you sleep well? Eat well” Get regular exercise? Take time to get away from it all and recharge? The better you take care of yourself, the lower the risk of ill-health
- Planning: Is the business able to function without you? Do you have systems in place so that, if it came to it, someone else could fill in for you if you weren’t there?
- Protection: There are a range of insurance policies which will help if you are unable to work – from ‘key person’ insurance for the business to income protection and life assurance to take care of your family.
Of course, one wants to be optimistic about the future of our business, rather than spiralling into a depression at the thought of all the things that might go wrong. It does give you peace of mind, however, to know you are covered should something go awry.
At Grant-Jones we offer a comprehensive business review for clients to help they have systems in place and are in good financial shape for whatever challenges life throw at them. To fid out more, contact us to arrange an initial conversation.