We all open the doors on our new business with bright shiny thoughts of smartly ringing cash registers and happy, jolly customers. Unfortunately, sometimes, because the Universe can have a sick, fickle sense of humor, things don’t go exactly as we planned.
When that happens, we need a “Doom’s Day” Plan.
Why? Because no matter how many hours we spend on our Business Plan, or how many scenarios of “What If” we run through our spreadsheets, sometimes, the unexpected happens.
It’s certainly happened to me. Back in the early nineties my then husband got hired right out of law school by IBM. We were ecstatic. We had mountain ranges of school debt, but he had a job, I had a job, and we had The Plan. Now, for those of you don’t remember (Or were to freaking young to be aware, and please don’t tell me about it. Lol), back in the early nineties IBM was going through a bit of a corporate melt down and the country (USA) was going through a pretty nasty recession. Which was one of the reasons we were so happy the then hubby had found a job. We bought a house, packed our bags, and set out for corporate life.
About six months later, as we say in Kentucky, the wheels came off the wagon.
As I mentioned, IBM was going through some pretty bad corporate reorganizations and one of the things that happened was that we were going to be moved from upstate New York to Tucson, Arizona. Now, on the one hand, I was more than ready to leave the snow, but the kicker was that we’d bought a house. In the past, IBM had purchased an employee’s house whenever they moved said employee. But, with the changes that were happening, that program was shut down. We were going to have to put the house on the market and hope it sold soon. The problem was that about fifty percent of the surrounding three counties were in the same boat as us. IBM had shut down all kinds of things, putting people out of work, and their houses on the market. Talk about Dooms Day!
This is what I’m talking about. We had A Plan. We bought the house assured that if we were relocated, the company would buy the house for fair market value. But, that didn’t happen. We ended up having to carry that house for almost a year and we finally sold it for twenty thousand less than we paid for it, which was a tough pill to swallow.
In today’s web based society we’re all dependent on one thing: Electricity. No electricity, no internet. No internet, no blog! In January of 2009, the area I live in was hit with a monstrous ice storm that literally shut down the entire state for ten days. Not only did I not have internet for ten days, I didn’t have heat either! But, the worst part was definitely not having electricity. I couldn’t work without it, I couldn’t contact other people to tell them I was okay (the cell towers were out, too!) and I couldn’t stay in my own home. What happened? Luckily, a friend had made a reservation at a hotel when he saw the storm coming and my daughter and I bunked down with him and his friends. After a couple of days, once the power started coming back on, we rotated to houses that had power (and internet!), and eventually a couple of us bought generators. The entire thing was just a mess, but if I lose power again, at least I have access to a back-up generator so I can work, assuming I can get to the internet. Another thing I did was sign up for a dial-up account as a back up plan. It may be slow, but I’ll be able to get to the internet and work as long as I can get a dial tone!
So, what is your Doom’s Day Plan? If the rug gets pulled out from under you, how will you cope? Do you have savings, or, worse case, a line of credit, you can fall back on? Will you go temp until you can work things out? Is there an asset you can liquidate fast to get the cash you need to keep your business rolling until you make it out of the muck? Do you need a backup internet source in the event your DSL goes down? We don’t like to think of all the bad that could happen, and I’m not saying we should focus on it either, but it’s best to be prepared.
If the wheels come off your wagon, how are you going to put them back on?