I always tell my clients to build the business they want, not the one that they have, but that requires discipline, investment and preparation in business planning. How can you possibly prepare for the unexpected? There are many types of crises a business can deal with: financial, legal, PR—the list goes on—but with thoughtful planning and the right team of advisors in place, you should sleep easy at night knowing you’ve prepared for whatever may be coming your way.
Set a Solid Foundation
A common pitfall of new entrepreneurs, is foregoing the necessary discipline and foresight in the nascent stages of a business. Many start a business because they are passionate about their trade, but not everything will come easy as your passion. Business owners get so wrapped up in starting their business that they forget to set the proper foundation—creating a structure like a house of cards—sacrificing the foundational building blocks that will help them build higher.
In my years as a commercial litigator, I saw many fresh entrepreneurs learn the hard way: the time and money required to develop financial and non-financial security measures at the beginning, pales in comparison to the cost you’ll face down the road if not done correctly. That “minor” business dispute a few years into the life of your business could cost you 30 times as much as investing in doing it right at the beginning (not to mention you’ll be quite cozy with your attorney for 2+ years!). Setting a strong foundation in the early stages of your business will help you navigate a crisis much easier, both financially and emotionally.
The 4 Pillars of a Strong Business
To build a business insusceptible to crises, you must strengthen the four pillars of a durable organization: legal, insurance, finance and tax. By looking at each of these four pillars and ensuring they have a balanced structure, you can tell how prepared a business is for a crisis. For example, many small businesses have just one or two individuals vital to keeping the business afloat—which is a liability. A proper insurance plan can guard against that. Like a lawyer, financial advisor and tax consultant, an insurance advisor should be one of the key counselors to a business owner. From legal battles and PR issues, to cashflow and personnel, a crisis can come in many forms, but all can be abated through conscientious planning.
Build Your Network
Most importantly, however, it is imperative to make sure you, as a business owner, are mentally prepared for a crisis. This means more than just knowing you’ve prepared your business planning in all the ways we talked about above. It is impossible to know what potential disasters could be coming your way, but by surrounding yourself with the right people, you can learn to bob and weave, and duck the punches. Surround yourself with people who are going to help—people who know what you’re doing and how it gets done. Who are you getting advice from? Find a mentor who knows where you’ve been and where you want to go. You are only going to be as successful as the people who surround you.
A.J. Yolofsky is a Pipeline Brickell member. He says, “My passion is helping people build successful businesses and then working with those people to protect their hard earned wealth. My clients receive the benefit of 25 years of practical business acumen and military experience to assist them with their needs. From simple wills to complex business structures to giving parents peace of mind with protection plans for their children, Yolofsky Law is with you every step of the way.”