Nothing is left to chance - every possibility is evaluated and the best course of action decided on if it were needed. So then, when they perform the operation, the whole team has confidence that they will not get into trouble if things don’t go according to the original plan, and more importantly they know what to do, no matter what happens.
Now does that mean that nothing ever goes wrong? Of course, not. Patients sometimes are unpredictable - they are people after all. The difference is that the plan is there ready and waiting if unlikely scenarios occur. This saves lives.
And this approach ultimately can save your business too. It’s the surprises that you don’t know how to deal with, or just don’t have enough time to fix in the heat of the moment, that are the most dangerous. These usually cause the most damage, take all your focus and attention, and cause the most stress. Have too many of these and you are in trouble big time. You may not be in business any more.
So, do you have a business plan? Because if you don’t, you need one.
A plan is important to any business, no matter what the size, and I am not talking about the 50 page type plan that sits in the office drawer never to be looked at again. I am talking about a day by day, week by week, month by month plan for areas of your business that need attention like marketing, cashflow or maybe profits, just to name a few.
For example let’s have a look at a typical problem business owners have – cashflow. The cashflow plan would look something like this depending on the business and their situation:
• System for invoicing (making sure money is invoiced on time)
• Ensure target margins are being meet with jobs
• System for collecting money on time
• How to deal with late payers
• Ensuring you are getting the right kind of customers (in other words the ones that pay)
• Negotiating with suppliers for credit terms
• Good stock control (not buying stock too early before needed)
• Complete a cash flow to see when money is likely to be short
• All of the above, plus:
• Selling dead stock
• Extra facility in place with bank when needed
• Access to extra capital
Plan C (last resort - if in crisis)
• All of the above, plus:
• Negotiate payment plan IRD for overdue and current outstanding amounts
• Negotiate with suppliers to help you through a bad patch
This plan if followed will keep most businesses out of trouble and the bank account thriving.
Now the thing with a plan is that it needs to be put into action and used. So Plan A should be applied every day or at least every week. This is the proactive “sort things out before they get out of hand” plan.
Plan B and C are if things are a little more serious. By the way please make sure that if you are reading this and you do owe the IRD overdue payments, negotiate a payment plan immediately. If you don’t, you will find very quickly that the penalties and interest will accumulate and could double the amount you owe. If you are unsure how to negotiate with IRD then get your accountant involved or give me a call and we can talk through some negotiation tactics that have worked very well with those I have helped get out of trouble.
On Plan A you will also notice “Complete a cash flow”. This is important as it will show you what times of the year you are likely to out of cash like Christmas holidays, and what times of the month are difficult. Once you know this, you can work out how to deal with it. Always better to see a problem coming and make a plan, than be caught by surprise. I hate bad surprises as I am sure you do also.
So how does your bank balance look? Are you constantly being surprised when you don’t have any money in the bank? Take the stress out of it and make a plan, follow the plan and have Plan B and C ready if needed.
At the end of the day, if it is you that ends up on the operating table, you want to know that your surgeon has thought through his plan of action and has every eventuality covered. Your business is your livelihood - your family, your staff, your customers are depending on you - think like a surgeon and use this approach to win.
- Pick the area of your business that you are having the most difficulty with.
- Now list all possible solutions to the problem – Create Plan A. (If possible involve your staff in this as they will often have some perspectives you would not think of)
- Think about things that might derail Plan A - other things that could go wrong – and think of solid solutions for these scenarios. This is your Plan B, C and so on.
- Take action - use Plan A – remember a plan without action does not work!
- And have Plan B ready if needed.