Warning Signs for Businesses
My computer shut down right in the middle of writing a proposal. All I saw was a blue screen. Right away, those dreaded words on the screen created panic because it usually means there is something wrong with my computer. Of course, I can restart it and it will work just fine or, the worst case scenario, is that a new computer is in my very near future. Regardless of the outcome, I received a warning sign. Why don’t I get warning signs for issues that will pop up in my business? Here are some events for which I need a warning:
- Government regulations change ahead! Usually I find out about something major that the government is trying to do to small businesses that impacts me right before it happens. As a small business owner, my reading and networking time are usually spent in pursuit of client relationships or new consultants for my team. I will have to join more PACs or participate more in my local Chamber of Commerce to keep up to date with these critical policies and regulations. How are you keeping up with the government?
- Go with caution. Key employee resignation in progress…Admittedly, sometimes we get a signal that something is not going well for an employee (a flash of light through our brains?) The sixth sense kicks in even if nothing is said – perhaps a change in performance. The typical thing that is done is to speak with the employee and put a plan in place to see how we can get that person back on track. I would like to get a stronger signal that this person is about to resign even if they are saying all the right things to me. Maybe their eyes should turn blue like my computer screen when that question is asked?
- Major contract approval in the works. This is not too much to ask. Small business owners like myself put so much effort into a new contract or renewing an existing one – it’s the lifeblood of our business. This is usually a stressful time for business owners. Nothing is ever “signed” until all signatures are on the document. Just give me a sign, please, that says this contract will be approved. Perhaps a rainbow on a sunny day?
Unfortunately, we cannot predict much. Regardless of what we do, things are constantly changing in our businesses and we have to stay on top of them to ensure the best possible outcome for all. It is up to us to create speed bumps for our businesses to make us slow down and assess situations so we are not blindsided.