Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Why Isn't it Working Anymore?

Erica Marshall www.muddyboots.org
You've been going with the flow but pretty much working off of your original business plan. It's been working for you! Then something, or a series of somethings have happened. What's going on? You lay awake wondering if it's you or the economy or both. Does it matter? I mean, it's not working now.

One option is to do nothing and hope it passes, kind of like a bad cold. But maybe things are not working as well because something big has changed, like you've moved or you lost your business partner or perhaps your office manager. You feel adrift and the money is just not coming in.

If you were to take stock of exactly where you are, that would be a good place to start. Then:
  • Look at how things were when they were last "working"
  • What has changed within your business?
  • What has changed in your particular industry?
  • What has happened to your physical location is that's something that has been a benefit in the past.
Sometimes we, as business people will look at something and say, "It's a phase!" What if everything were a phase? Serial success? It's a half empty, half full kinda of thing. Every business will at some point (if it's around long enough) will be in a recession.

Planning for the best case scenario is what we tend to do. It's hard enough to write a business plan that succeeds, writing one that assumes some failure is a pretty tough order. At least think about it now. Think about how to identify the signs of faltering that could make or break you:
  • Having most of your income coming from one customer/client
  • Being spread across too many markets and not one of them is stable
  • Having no alternative sources for your raw goods
Watch for some of these warning signs and in another series I'll go through some things that can make your business more "recession proof."

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