They say there’s no such thing as bad weather only inadequate clothing.
I walked the dog one morning in a howling gale and with heavy rain driven on the wind, but I was wrapped up warm with hat, boots and gloves.
In your business if you are properly prepared for whatever events are coming your way then coping with those events is easy.
What if events catch you unaware on the other hand?
That would be like going out in that howling gale in a t shirt, shorts and flip flops. Some people might enjoy it, but most of us would not (the dog wouldn’t care either way as long as she got her walk!)
What events might catch you out and what can you do to prepare for them?
If the market you serve – or the market your customers serve – is going through a down-turn, or seems likely to do so, does your business plan reflect that? It’s all very well taking last year’s numbers and adding a bit, but if in the meantime the market has taken a turn for the worse your plan is probably unrealistic.
If the market is picking up and there is more business out there, does your plan (and do your sales targets) reflect that or are the sales team getting an easy ride?
If you do business in multiple currencies, do you have a plan for exchange rate movements or are you just hoping for the best? At the very least you should be hedging your exposure but I’ve always preferred natural hedging, where your income and expenditure are matched by currency, whenever possible.
Customers and Suppliers
If your business is dependent upon any one customer or any one supplier, you should have a plan to secure your position, but also a plan to minimise your risks.
Throughout your business think of the external risks, seek to minimise them and develop a plan to cope should the worst happen.