If you’re in business, you know every day presents a new pitfall or challenge that may potentially threaten the growth of your endeavors. Owning and managing your business isn’t for the faint of heart, but the rewards can be lucrative and satisfying. That’s why you keep striving to fuel the ongoing momentum that leads to the fruition of all your hard work. In the spirit of sustaining the livelihood of your business over the long haul, here are the top three “to-do’s” and basic practices that can help your business stay strong and stable now and long into the future.
Working the Long Game: 3 Basic Practices Your Business Needs for Longevity
The secret sauce to long-term business survival isn’t a secret recipe at all. It’s all about prevention, and protecting your business so your assets and efforts can weather any storm it may encounter. Here are some tips that will help maintain longevity for you and your business.
1) Stay Organized
It may seem like the most absurdly obvious practice, but you might be surprised at how many businesses crumple like a cheap suit when it comes to staying organized. Keeping your records, accounts, and client information organized is crucial to sustaining your business in the future.
Consider these gripping questions while you think about the organization of your business: What if I’m audited by the IRS? What if my business is slapped with a lawsuit? What if I’m held liable? What if my business partner bails?
For every one of these “what ifs” (and a million others that crop up when conducting business), do you know exactly where to look for supporting documentation to cover your assets amid these threats? Having employee records, business contracts, warranties, and all the mountainous business documentation available for proof and evidence isn’t easy to handle. However, cataloging all these mounds of minutia is vital to keeping your business running efficiently.
If organizing isn’t your thing, then hire an employee in charge of maintaining and keeping fundamental paperwork (electronic PDFs, and/or hard copies) filed in supreme order. Better yet, consider contracting a consultant who can assess your business’s organizational needs and centralize essential memorandums and pivotal documents so you never have to dive through another chaotic pile of papers to justify your business’s position again.
2) Install Backup Plans
Plan B is great if plan A doesn’t pan out, but in today’s business, you need plans C-Z to make sure your business survives long-term. Backup plans are not supposed to be exclusively for cases of emergencies or failures. We’re talking contingency plans set in place to keep you, your employees, and your business stabilized in every scenario.
Some backup plans include implementing structured procedures for your employees about proper business practices in any situation. Another example of backup plans deals with literally backing up your network, online information, and e-data on a cloud or external server so your information is safe and secured in the event of an outage.
The ultimate safety net for your business lies in negotiating insurance contracts so your assets and employees are safeguarded. Insuring yourself and your business is a titanic and necessary practice when it comes to seeing your business thrive in the future. Don’t rely on good luck to protect your business. Plan for success by establishing reliable, preventative measures so your business is protected today and long into the next century.
3) Encourage Communication
It doesn’t matter what kind of business you have, your long-term success relies on staying connected with your clients, customers, employees, collaborators, service providers, etc. Transparent, clear communication is epic when it comes to keeping your endeavors online and ongoing.
Mistakes in communication can kill results in your business and shove a major roadblock onto your path towards upward mobility in sales and success. Too often, business owners get stuck in a rut, making them inert or inflexible to feedback. Don’t be a victim of this grave error in business practice.
Listen to your customers. Take notes about what your employees are suggesting. Communicate effectively with your vendors, and establish clear understandings about the expectations of your business agreements. This may seem incredibly oversimplified, but keeping your finger on the pulse of communications about your business is a top-ranking solution to maintaining success in the long run.
Going to Infinity and Beyond With Your Business
As a business owner, you’ve proven yourself as an individual with grit, stamina, and guts. No one is questioning that. However, the everyday details to keep a business running and growing long into the future requires attention to details.
If the ancillary essentials and particulars about preparation and fall-back plans aren’t in your wheelhouse, then seek out third-party resources that can help you with these basic elements to help keep business flourishing. Whatever way you choose to tackle these 3 must-do’s on your to-do list, always remember that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure in terms of the longevity of your business.