Our recent survey ‘For Love or Money’ found that business owners are risking their livelihoods by neglecting to implement important safeguards. Here are our tips:
• Have several suppliers – if you rely on just one or two they could change their terms of business or even fold, leaving you with potentially a big funding gap to fill – or no product.
• Delegate – if you do everything in your business you will be unable to cope if you grow – and what would happen if you have to be absent from it for a while?
• Put into place a sound management structure – consider your recruitment requirements. If you want to exit your business in the future it’s essential you can show potential buyers a sustainable structure.
• Never rely too much on just one key member of staff – train others up so they can step in if someone leaves or is away. To support the process prepare appropriate notes and robust systems that can be followed by everyone concerned.
• Training is essential to motivate and develop your staff – it’s an investment that will pay dividends.
• Diversify your customer base – don’t depend on just one big client or you expose yourself to being dictated to – or worse, if they go bust you could too.
• Get a mentor – it’s helpful to bounce ideas off someone from outside of your company when checking your business strategy and plan. This can be a trusted friend, coach or mentor but they should have the experience to ask you the tough questions you might not want to hear. These should be proper sessions where you work on your business instead of being in it for a while.
Look on these sessions as a valuable investment, which will give you the opportunity to think things through and build a sustainable business plan for the future.