A business owner needs to prepare Plan A and Plan B, and usually several other plans besides.
- What if one part of the business takes off beyond the business owner’s wildest expectations? (“Bredemarket will NEVER have to hire any employees…what, HOW many documents?”)
- What if that part of the business instead becomes an abandoned haven for crickets?
It’s important that the business remain as flexible as possible to prepare for possible eventualities, or at least the most likely ones. Don’t worry about the unlikely scenarios – for example, I never have to plan for a scenario in which Will Smith slaps someone and cusses the person out on live TV…wait, what’s that?
At Bredemarket, I’ve had business spring out of nowhere quickly, and I’ve had business not spring out of nowhere quickly.
- In one case the time from initial contact to completed work and invoice was less than a day.
- In other cases it took a little longer; it took me nearly eleven months to land a particular contract.
- In other cases…I’m still waiting.
But that was the past, and now I face the future. I’ve been thinking about this a lot, especially as I explore various ways to reach my goals for 2022 (including the super-secret unpublished third goal). And I’m wondering how various events could affect these goals…and how the events can affect other events.
- If event X occurs, how does this affect goal 1 and 3?
- If event Y occurs, how does this affect goal 1 and 3?
- If event X and event Y occur, then what happens?
Because I’m a writer, I have to write, and I’ve already started thinking through some of the “what ifs” attached to some of these events, and writing some draft communications that deal with the various events, should they happen.
But I’m leaving them in draft mode.
Because maybe neither event X nor event Y will occur.
But I’ll be ready if event Z occurs two years from now.
So how do you plan for events that may or may not occur?
Like any project, you start by taking a step back and examining the potential event at a high level.
And you start questioning, with not only “so what?” questions, but also with repeated “why?” questions (five whys is popular, but it can be any number). If you’ve never seen the five whys in action, watch this video. (H/T Mark Paradies at TapRooT.)
OK, maybe not that video.
But the important thing is to think about a potential event, what it means, and what ramifications emerge from that event if it occurs.
And then proceed accordingly…if the event happens.