Running a business can be likened to engaging in farming. It is very profitable, yet vulnerable on every side. In farming, you will encounter harsh weather, crop diseases, damaged soil, and seasonal epidemics   ̶   all of which can wipe out your whole source of livelihood at a given. It is left to you to have courage and begin afresh.

As a coach or professional business owner, you would have by now encountered your own fair share of down times. And you can agree with me for sure that failures are as certain as success in business. This has sent lots of professional business owners into depression and sometimes suicide.

Like a game of chess, you have to be really smart to stay winning. This is because the business world is a tough one and nothing is certain. The biggest businesses have had their own fair share of vulnerabilities and still do. Running a business and planning against vulnerability is as difficult as getting a tooth from the mouth of a hungry lion.

It takes your time, attention, smart tactics and consciousness. You have to be intentional and very deliberate about it. You should be enlightened about the results you want to get and how to get them, because nothing is certain.

Business Map

So how do you cut down vulnerability to the barest minimum? How do you plan against situations that you don’t expect? Well, we cannot take you there, but we will show you the roadmap to protection and freedom from vulnerability. Stay with us and keep reading!

Be Optimistic, But Realistic Enough To Accept the Worst

While I was growing, I always heard the common saying of expecting the best and preparing for the worst. I grew up and realized that that was a truly wise saying. The worst that could happen to a business varies to each business.

For instance, if you have an office and you step in one morning to see that a part of the roof is dripping? That is manageable right? But what if water has dripped into all your work tools and documents which are the mainstay of your business?

What if you go to your office to meet a fire outbreak that took your whole business with it? What if you run your business on the internet and you woke up to a broken computer which is your work tool. How about you experience a heavy storm with power outage and no Wi-Fi for days.

These events and more are some of the things that could happen to your business any time and any day. The worst part is that you have no control over them; neither can you prevent them from happening. You have to learn to be realistic even if you hope for the best always.

Be smart enough to know that disasters have the tendency of happening even when you least expect. No business is ever full proof from vulnerability. Having the consciousness to know that these things can happen prepares you to accept them when they happen. It also helps prepare you on how to get out of that situation with minimal damage and financial crisis.

Failing to prepare, accept and plan for the worst in business is one of the factors that can lead a business owner to lose hope and do something stupid at the end. This is because they have no fall back cushion planned.

Accepting that the worst can happen and preparing towards it reduces the panic and wondering of what tomorrow holds. It is like you having a life insurance on your business. No matter what happens, there is a way out. Acceptance is the first stage to reducing vulnerability, and the next thing is to set up a getaway plan by listing up your wild cards.

Lay All Your Wild Cards on the Table

This is a long and hard process for one too many business owners. This is because it looks like you are wishing a disaster, but in reality, you are only staying alert and prepared for what is to come. Your wild cards are every single factor that has the tendency to affect your business negatively. No factor is too great or too small. If it has a slight element of posing a danger to your business, it is a wild card.

Ask yourself what could happen that will stop you from working for a short while or going out of business totally. You have to first look at the uniqueness of the business you run and your industry in general. This is what gives you an insight into what your wild cards are.

Could they be natural disasters, your industry hitting recession, storm, power outage, or fire outbreak? How about an inflation of currency, no Wi-Fi, damage to work equipment, a total wipe out of your work database, or a massive exit of staff.

They are too many to mention but these are just a few of them. Setting all your wild cards out on the table puts you on a path to reality. It keeps you better prepared for the worst and what it can be. As a business owner, you must have full knowledge of what your wild cards are.

If you have been nonchalant about this aspect of your business or you have no idea of what they are, now is the time to take stock. Dig deep into your business; peruse the length and breadth to make sure you identify all the wild cards. Like I said earlier, no wild card is too small or too great to trouble your business. No matter how gigantic a ship is, only a small hole not spotted or mended in time can sink it.

Establish How These Wild Cards Can Affect Your Business

If anything should happen to your business today, you could be one of the least affected. There are investors, strategic partners, your family who depend on you, and your employees who make a living from your business. These are all the factors you should put into consideration when computing how your wild cards will affect your business.

Do not leave anything to chance or ripple effects from damages to ruin you. Do not ever for once decide that nature should run its course or the problem, should it happen, would sort itself out. That is the easy way for cowards to shy away from facing reality and tackling problems heads on.

Draw up a list of people, places and every other important aspect of your life that will be affected, if something happened to your business. Envision a worst case scenario and how it would affect your business. This will open your eyes to the fact that there is an area of overlap in your business.

You will find out that in truth, every area of your life is interconnected and if there is a weak link with one area, every other areas will be affected, either a bit or largely. Establish what could go wrong, the gravity of damage it could impact and who or what it will most likely affect.

This will give you a heads up on the parts of your business that are firm, the areas that need to be strengthened… where needs support and the areas that are totally down that they need thorough rework. This will put you at a better vantage position for the days of trouble, and you would have made the proverbial stitch in time that saved nine.

Devise a Solid Strategy That Minimizes Your Vulnerability to Wild Cards

Having prepared your mind to accept the worst, known all your wild cards and how they could affect you   ̶   the next step is to create a strategy or checklist that will help you navigate through each of the situations that may pop up. You now have the insight and ability to prepare and plan, because you know what to plan for.

This is not saying any of these things will happen. Don’t get me wrong, as there may not be any flood, or fire outbreak. The power may not go put, your staff may not exit en masse, nor will there be a dripping roof. But we cannot just rule out all these possibilities. As such, if it eventually decides to happen, you should and would have a plan in place to handle the situation.

There are several ways that you can make changes and water tight plans for short term and long term. Enhance your foresight and see into the future. Envision it and make it visible, so that when it happens, you will manage it with utmost certainty and confidence that you are doing the best and right thing.

I do not know the peculiarity of your business, hence, cannot tell you what your wild cards are. You know your business, and given our guide, you know how to identify your wild cards and the extent of their effects on your business. You will also be able to create the best strategies that will minimize vulnerability to your business.

You may need to seek expert help from a business coach with this phase of the plan. They will help you create a smart and solid strategy to escape or reduce your business vulnerabilities to the barest minimum. But if you decide that you can do it on your own, below are questions that should influence your decision making.

  • What are the short term measures you can put in place to minimize your vulnerabilities?
  • What are the assured long term measures that can help you tackle vulnerabilities successfully and in real time?
  • What are the essentials that can help you produce the results you need to stay safe?

Understanding how to protect your business against vulnerability gives you a certain amount of rest and freedom. You would not suffer a day to day damage, because you have put measures in place to stall them.

You may even leave it in the hands of staff and take some time off, because they know what to do, going by the measures you put on place. You would have successfully and proactively protected your business against crisis.

My final words…

There are no guarantees in business and failure is as certain as success. But you can minimize the failure by planning and staying prepared for it. Get proactive by first accepting that anything can happen, because it all begins for the mindset

The next step is to identify all your wild cards, see how much damage they can do and who or what will be affected. Lastly, create a strategy that minimizes the identified risks. The job of protecting your business lies with you!

If you need help implementing this in your business, click here or use the button below to schedule a breakthrough call with one of our business strategists.