The Show Must Go On (3 Tips for Business Stability When the Unforeseen Occurs)

The Show Must Go On (3 Tips for Business Stability When the Unforeseen Occurs)

“The show must go on.”

You don’t have to be part of the Boy Scouts of America or an actor, actress or dancer to embrace the philosophy behind these phrases. No indeed, they work just fine for businesses as well.

The plain truth is that unexpected things happen; in fact, it’s pretty much a certainty. It might not be a natural disaster like Super Storm Sandy or anything as catastrophic as a fire that destroys a building but make no mistake about it, the unforeseen can happen at any time. And it’s the “regular” unforeseen things that can throw a company into a tailspin and can affect their bottom line.

Unforeseen things like employees leaving the company with little or no warning due to illness, a spouse that has been transferred for their job or the necessity to care for an aging relative. These incidents have had major impacts on various firm’s stability.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. Companies that keep going without too many hiccups despite these unforeseen circumstances are companies that do the following:

1. They believe in the concept of “Prior Planning” so that they are prepared for any changes in the staff. Prior planning includes documenting various tasks and then cross training and pollination of the tasks. This can be executed in such a manner so that staff members have the opportunity to perform the cross-trained tasks at least once a month ensuring that they retain the requisite skills sets. (Training someone once and then not having them actually “do the work” on a somewhat frequent basis is a recipe for disaster as retention and skills are severely compromised.)

2. They make certain all of their mission-critical important processes are documented and that the information doesn’t simply reside in an existing employee’s “memory bank.” Once the processes are documented they are all tested to verify and guarantee that anyone tasked with following the process plan will be able to successfully execute the job.

3. They believe in succession planning! Succession planning is an oft-ignored critical component in a company’s long-term growth and success. Identifying and developing internal people to fill important positions will ensure a company that there will always be a trained and knowledgeable individual for the job.

So remember the 5 P’s: Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance. Make them a core part of your company and rest assured that when something unforeseen occurs (not if!) you will be prepared and ready.


From the April 2014 Unique Business Solutions Newsletter

April 1, 2014