Editor’s Note: Here at Dispatches, we are always looking for ways to help our readers do things. For some of our readers, that means helping navigate the working world, for others, it means assisting in the ever challenging question, “what’s for dinner?” For still others, it means figuring out how to balance family life with everything else. In an effort to aid in all of these endeavors, we have collaborated on this article written specifically for our readers.
Sometimes it is good to have something to fall back on, especially with a solopreneur or small business owner. When you’re running a business, it’s easy to feel as though you’re in constant battle with things that you can’t control, and you can often feel as though you don’t have anything to fall back on when things to go wrong. There are a few safety nets you can add to your business to provide you with more stability and peace of mind.
When it comes to your customers, you’re going to run into a bit of trouble every now and then. They’re a tough bunch to please, and without a safety net with them, your business could be seriously impacted. Symfact Software has a great contact management section that can help you to keep both your customers and your company in line with agreements. Without some form of contract, it is easy for expectations to be misunderstood and wires to get crossed A contract makes things bound by law, and the whole process much easier to follow. You should absolutely consider working with a local business lawyer to develop a contract specific to your business needs.
A contingency plan is just what you need if you’re looking for a bit of a safety net with situations. A contingency plan helps you to have systems in place in case things do go wrong. First, you really do need a contingency plan when it comes to competitors coming into your market. If you’re already well established, you might feel as though you’re going to be the only one who is ever going to dominate the market. Don’t fall into this way of thinking! Whatever you do, don’t assume you’re going to be top forever. There are so many new people giving new business ideas a go, and their ideas might be even better than yours. To prevent this, you’ve got to be innovative and think on your toes. Always come up with new ideas for products, offerings and services and always make sure you’re monitoring what other companies are doing.
You also need a plan for if key members of your team decide to leave. As long as you have contracts in place, they legally can’t just get out and leave to never show their face again. In your contract you give to them, they should be signing to give notice. In this window, the hunt begins to find someone just as qualified to take over. But then you have to consider the fact that whilst they might be qualified, they’re still not going to have a clue how your company works, and potentially what to do in the role. So you’ve got to expect a period of time where productivity levels are lower due to training and finding out what’s going on.
If nothing else, follow the mantra expect the best but plan for the worst.