Business Disasters: It’s not If, but When

Not business as usualWhile disasters come in all shapes and sizes, they all have one thing in common – They impact your business revenue. 

Not only does a disaster slow down your income stream, but it adds expenses.

Recovery from a disaster is hard. And what makes it even harder for many small-business owners is the need to create the response on the fly plus the gathering of records and important documents, if that is even possible.

Most owners have a good intention of doing a disaster plan but somehow that day never comes. Or they get it done but fail to keep it updated. They are lulled into a false sense of security.

North Dakota State University Extension has developed a disaster app for both Android and iPhone applications. It allows the small-business owner to input basic crucial data along with pictures so that the business can get up and running more quickly.

More information about the app is available at: https://www.ag.ndsu.edu/news/newsreleases/2016/aug-22-2016/new-disaster-app-helps-small-businesses-prepare-for-the-worst/view 

Available for tablets and smart phones, the app provides a place to build your basic disaster plan. Not only do you build it, but, since you carry it with you, it will be stored typically in an off-site location. And you can take a couple minutes of otherwise wasted time that often appear in your day.

Get the app. Fill it in. Take some pictures. You have your plan.

We hope your business never experiences a disaster, small or big, but now you can be ready.

Listening for the Need

Surprised child

Photo (CC 2.0) by Jay Ryness, on Flickr

How many times have you asked yourself, “What do our customers want?”

I hope you answered that by saying you consider that question every day. Or maybe once a week. At least I hope it’s once a year as you set up your goals for the year.

Yet I suspect that often our answer revolves around thinking we know what the customer wants. And that can be a big mistake.

So what should be the answer to my question? I would hope we would answer “This is what our customer wants BECAUSE WE ASKED!!!!!”

We may think we know what the customer wants or we may treat a part of the issue but do we get to the cause.

This video, from Stanford eCorner, tells the story of how Intuit realized its product was used as much in the business world as it was for its designed market, taking care of our personal finances.

Watch it and then ask yourself again, “What do your customers want?” I suspect your answer will be, “We better go and find out.”

Savor the Surprise

And don’t think you only ask once. Your market will change

Following the Regulations

Dept. of Regulations

Photo (CC 2.0) by Jeffrey Beall, on Flickr

As I work with small business owners, I hear sometimes about the laws and regulations that impact the operation of their business. A difficulty they have is staying aware of new regulations that might affect them.

The Maryland Risk Management Education Blog recently wrote about a local business owner and an issue they faced, anti-discrimination statutes, in their agritourism business.

As they noted, their blog is not legal advice but brings up an issue that others may face. In the case of the business discussed, it brought a fine and a civil penalty as well.

As a business owner, you need to:

  1. stay abreast of these issues;
  2. put policies and procedures in place to ensure you comply,
  3. train your staff in compliance; and
  4. get a attorney on your team to offer advice.

Staying on top of such issues can help you avoid such fines. It also can save you dollars spent in handling legal issues. More importantly, it ensures that your business does not suffer from negative publicity.

Learn what laws and regulations affect your business. Watch for changes or new issues that come along. And take the necessary steps to ensure your compliance. 

What’s Your _______________? – Part 1

Question mark

Photo (CC 2.0) by Virtual EyeSee, on Flickr

It’s 2016. Let’s start by helping you get answers to your questions and building your professional network.

1st opportunity – Answer this question.

What’s the #1 question holding your business back?

 

Why do we ask? Because we want to hear from you, your questions and your answers. This post will be one of several future chances to provide your thoughts, ideas, issues and answers.

So the floor is open. Just respond in the comment section. Post your question or post how you handled such a situation. Or maybe you have some thoughts from an educational program or something you read or heard. Share, share, share. And don’t be afraid to discuss. Offer concerns and alternatives.

This is your space to share knowledge and build networks.

Our objectives at Power of Business are to:

  • Allow you to connect and build networks with other business owners and resource people
  • Get answers to your questions
  • Encourage you to share your success stories and tips for other owners based on your experiences
  • Learn where your colleagues go for resources

To achieve these requires hearing from you.

So get started. Be the first one to grab this opportunity.