Thursday, August 11, 2016

4 Disaster Pre-Decisions You Need to Make Now

Being in the modular home business, either as a factory or a builder, forces you to make a lot of decisions every day. Which sub do I use on what job? How much should I quote for this house? Are the modules my builder ordered ready to be placed into production, which house needs a service call today and many other problems are all fighting for your attention every hour of the day.

When you make a decision about something and you make the wrong one, what is your reaction and how does it affect your business.

A lot of you take that wrong decision on the chin, try to rationalize it and/or blame someone else.

But wouldn’t it be great if a little pre-decision work could change the entire way you do business?

Here are four scenarios that you should be able to handle quite well when you do some pre-decision planning.

1. You lost what you thought was an easy sales win. You thought your decision to quote that particular price would be a slam dunk until you found out the customer chose to go with a competitor.

Instead of letting disappointment derail you, look at it as an opportunity to improve your sales process. Ask the client why they didn’t choose your proposal. Analyze what you learn to determine if there are changes you can make to improve the way you work with potential clients in the future.
2. There's a dip in cash flow. Your business is based on estimates of bringing in X amount of dollars per month. One day your bookkeeper says you will be short for the current month. Don’t just address the immediate impact of reduced cash flow.

Step back and ask why this happened. How could it have been prevented? Why didn’t you see it coming? What decisions can I make now to insure this doesn’t happen next month.

3. "I don't know what we would do." If that's the first thing that crosses your mind as you watch coverage of a natural disaster causing serious damage to your homes being built and your business, consider it a signal that you need to make sure you have the proper insurance in place before disaster strikes.

You also need to recognize that even if you are spared, your homes under construction may be hit and that could have a ripple effect on your business. Think about how you would handle that scenario before you are in the midst of it.

Two scenarios come to mind. First is Hurricane Sandy that not only wiped out many homes under construction but in some cases wiped out modular builders' showrooms and offices. And secondly, remember what happened to many modular builders, suppliers and workers when IBS filed bankruptcy.

You need to make pre-decisions about these type of disasters and pray they never happen....again.

4. There's uncertainty surrounding your technology. If your computer is wiped out today, would you be able to restore your data tomorrow?

The answer should be a confident "yes!" If you hesitated in your answer, then you need to make some pre-decisions. There are many affordable, easy solutions today that provide secure, reliable backup. There is simply no excuse not to have one. Remember that an external hard drive that you store right next to your computer is just as vulnerable to fire and water as the computer itself.

Also be aware that online thieves are a very real problem for businesses of all sizes. Make sure your system is protected from hackers to minimize the chance of a breach.

Recently my PayPal business account was hacked and thousands of dollars were gone thanks to a foreign hacker. Luckily I had made some pre-decisions about what to do if this should happen. Within an hour all my money was returned to my account and PayPal said they would like to use me as a poster child for online theft protection. Still waiting on the call but at least I didn’t lose a penny.

Get out of the weeds and take a broader view of your business. Look for signals that point to potential problems. Address the root causes and then make some decisions to establish systems that ensure those same problems don’t arise in the future.

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