Nobody will give you a safety net in business, in fact many will hope you fall. Your competitors want you to stay hungry and stay down, so they can reap all the rewards in your respective industry. Others would like to see a rival business fall because they have a bet on the stock market and they have bought the shares of the company that you’re competing against. Others may just want to see your business fail because they don’t like what you do. There are plenty of sharks out there, and you’re trying to calming walk across the swimming pool on a tightrope. What could go wrong hey? Too many ways to count. So it’s up to you and you alone to make sure you are always thinking of a plan B to your plan A. That’s not a big task initially, because many projects will bear fruit of some kind and you can find your way around problems. You may not have to drop everything from plan A, to go onto the next procedure. But what if plan B doesn’t work out either? Then you’ll wish you had plans C and D ready to be implemented. Here are some examples of why you need multiple exit strategies when projects don’t go you way.
Confidence is bruised not broken
It’s tough to admit when you’re wrong, even in everyday life. We have an ego and rather than think of it as some kind of sin or nothing that a little zen trip won’t fix, be appreciative of it. Ego is the fighting spirit in you, that voice that tells you that one day you will be the best in your industry. It gets your out of bed every morning to go outside and prove to all the doubters that you are going to succeed. Why on earth would you think of it as something that is working against you?
Ego can manifest itself in confidence also. And confidence is something that we all crave and no more so, than your employees and your clients. When you have a great plan A, but also a great plan B, C and D clients will have far more trust in you than they would if you just had one fall back plan. It makes investors perk up and see that you are intellectually approaching a scenario and a project. It shows you’re asking the questions that they want to ask you, to yourself and answering them. What if this doesn’t work? What if this part can’t arrive on time? What if we don’t achieve this profit margin? What if we don’t sell as much as initially expected? The more plans you have, the more failsafe options you give yourself. One way or another, you will achieve your goal, no matter what goes wrong. When something fails, your employees and clients will have their confidence in you bruised, but not broken because of this.
Fluidity of the capacity
The number one most versatile yet unreliable aspect of your business are your employees. They are the people that will get you to your goals, but they are also human beings and not robots. You can’t expect them to be consistent in absolutely every tiny detail. One of the things that businesses are constantly trying to avoid is slipping down the slippery slope of losing capacity at any given time. Workers will want to live their own lives and go on holiday, some of them might have caught a bug and need to take sick days, and others might just want time off in general. You need to keep your business operating at a high capacity so you are able to stick to your deadlines and maintain a high level of quality throughout all stages.
For that you should be using some kind of employee scheduling software to manage who is and who isn’t at their desk. For a small business you want to keep your finances in order and keep spending on everyday needs on a level plain. You might want to consider these 9 Free Employee Scheduling Software Tools. Certainly better than a pen or paper, these tools are able to be accessed by managers, directors and the executive board. This way you can communicate in real-time, and your managers can let you know when a department is about to go below the optimal number of employees working during the day. It also keeps everyone in senior positions updated, so they know to cut some slack and give a little more time to a team that is slightly undermanned. They can keep the ball rolling and instead move off to another team in another department to get what they need done so time isn’t wasted.
Incorporate the bells and whistles
Many plan As will stick to making the best product or service for customers. There will be some core goals to the projects, that meet the fundamentals and they achieve the central motives of your business. The little extras that you know aren’t necessary but would be nice are often cast off to the side. This is so you can focus on the main aims and then worry about the bells and whistles later if you have time and the resources. The bells and whistles will go into plan B and perhaps more.
What if you finish a project before the deadline date? Surely you would rather spend time polishing it and perhaps even adding to it to make it even better if you had the time right? Well, that’s why having plan B, C and D is a great thing to prepare for. For example, you were tasked with designing a website for a client. You said it would take around 6 weeks but you finished it in 4 and a half. You can spend this time adding little bits and pieces to it to make it even better. You’ve got the man task done, but a client will be even more impressed with the small extra touches you’ve done for them. You can always inform them that you have finished the project earlier than expected, then have them come in to see what kinds of extras they would like. This elevated the image of your business higher, and also allows your portfolio of work to look even more impressive to any future prospects.
Staving off the obvious
There are many valid reasons why you should be preparing for the worst and making plans to backup your original plan. To keep clients happy, to keep the motivation and confidence of your clients and employees high, to remain at your best possible working capacity etc. all of these are great but at the core of all of these reasons, you just don’t want to fail. When something goes wrong and you haven’t prepared some kind of contingency plan, you have lost a client, a customer, or an investor. Why should anyone use your business if you don’t have any other way to deliver on what you said you would? It’s the doom of your business that you are fighting against when you are making extra plans. They are your safety net that stops you from collapsing as a company.
You should make up an extra few days for your executive and directors to come up with plan B, C and D for any project you do in the future. Sure, it takes long enough to get plan A right, but when that is done, you can start work on the project and still keep planning for a ‘just in case’ scenario.