Lack of “planning” gets me in trouble…

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by Tom Watson on September 7, 2014

We all know that “having a plan” is important. It’s drilled into us by our parents when we were young. I can still hear my mother asking me “what’s your plan when things don’t work out?”.

Many times growing up I didn’t have a good answer – to the dismay of my mother –  but over time I became aware of the value of thinking ahead and having a “Plan B” available. Doing so will save you time and grief.

Well the last few days have taught me that from time to time I forget that concept. Just the other day I woke up to find the majority of my website malfunctioning. This of course is something that is unacceptable. The problem was I had NO PLAN on what to do in the event that happened.

To make a long story short, when I did some “routine” software updates things went haywire. The site didn’t appear to be having any issues, as all pages loaded fine. The problem was with the blog, as none of my articles would load. This was a pretty big problem!

This incident meant I had to drop everything and focus all my attention on fixing the issue right away. Countless calls to various companies just confused me more. Some said I needed one thing while others said I needed something else. I had to learn a lot in a short time-frame.

My first priority was just getting the site to work again. This took all day. Luckily my hosting company was able to use a backup copy of the site to restore its ability to function. This didn’t fix the issue, but it gave me some time to find a web developer that could help.

The moral for me is this. If I had just had a plan in place my issue would have been much less of a headache. Instead I had to make a plan on the fly, which is never a really good idea, especially for a business. I should have been better prepared! But I did learn a big lesson.

I’ll wrap this up by reminding you to have a plan in place for when things don’t go right. Thinking ahead will benefit you greatly. So…

  • What’s the plan for when your top employee leaves for another job?
  • What’s the plan for when your top 5 accounts unexpectedly pay you late, leaving you strapped for cash?
  • What’s the plan for when you have multiple employees call out on the same night?
  • What’s the plan for when your most profitable account lets you go?

While coming up with a plan for various circumstances takes time, it’s a good idea to start chipping away at them. While you can’t plan for everything, you can make a plan for the most common calamities that might come your way.

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

1 carmen September 7, 2014 at 12:51 pm

what should I do ? I did a job for elderly gentleman and he delays paying with different excuses. 2,300 for deep cleaning of raccoon infested house . should I take him to small claims court or take it as a loss we are new . no contract was made out other than email records

2 Beryl Duvenhage September 9, 2014 at 6:14 am

Hi Tom,

Thank you for showing me that sometimes we do lack of planning our business. I had a good look at mine and I did see were I’m lacking some good planning for the business. Thank you for your input and my God bless you for helping us in our businesses.

3 Justin Burner September 9, 2014 at 9:51 pm

Ha! This is great advice. Almost the same thing happened to me today…waiting for my computer to be repaired. Didn’t happen when I thought it would and since I had no plan b I spent a whole day wasted.

4 Tom Watson September 11, 2014 at 1:09 pm

Hi Justin! STINKS when things go wrong. I just had another day where my luck ran out. It all worked out, but another day down the drain!

5 Tom Watson September 11, 2014 at 1:11 pm

Hi Beryl! I do my best to keep folks from making the same mistakes as me (and I make a LOT at times). Thanks for commenting!

6 Tom Watson September 19, 2014 at 3:37 pm

Hi Carmen! Sorry for the delay. Valuable lesson learned. You need to get folks to sign something, especially for that type of money. As far as what to do… you need to decide that one. If the work was done and you have proof then I would think that gives you an edge in court.

7 Justin Burner September 19, 2014 at 3:45 pm

You should also weigh the option of putting a lein on the property.

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