No matter how hard you try, and how much work you put into your business in general, it can be shockingly easy and quick for it to be put on hold for an indeterminate amount of time. It would actually be impossible to list all of the possible things that can go wrong in your business, in part because the answer to that query depends so hugely on what your line of work is and what industry you are working within. Nonetheless, there are also a number of common ways businesses can suddenly struggle with carrying on in this respect, and it is worth knowing what they are so that you can prepare for them all the more. The more that you are able to prepare for the following, the more likely it is that your business will continue running undisturbed for as long as you like. Whereas, when these happen, you might want to take a number of quick steps to remedy the situation.
A Product Error
When you are making a lot of products in one go or in a short space of time, it can be easy to allow something to go wrong. Whether on the factory line or handmade in your garden shed, there are ways that errors can find themselves sneaking into products, and when this happens it can spell disaster for all involved. With any luck, the error in question will not be anything serious or dangerous – but if it is, then that is something else altogether, and something which needs to be taken seriously immediately. Most of the time, however, it will be something small – but still enough to cause a disruption to your production line. In the worst case, an affected product ends up in the hands of your customer, and you receive a complaint.
So how can you avoid this happening? In general, the best way is to practice considerate and consistent care when you are making your products. Don’t rush just because you have a lot to make, and if you are struggling to keep up, instead hire someone trustworthy and train them to help you. All being well, you should avoid most of the possible errors this way. For the occasional problem that crops up anyway, just try your best to minimize the damage. If it has ended up in your customer’s hands, apologise, refund and replace. These things happen. No business is perfect, and most customers actually understand that, believe it or not. Show care and compassion and fix the problem, and you will be well on your way to a happy solution.
Trouble In The Warehouse
For slightly larger companies, it might be that there has been some kind of more serious issue down in the warehouse or the factory floor which has meant that production needs to stop. Generally, when production has to stop it is because there is a safety issue at hand – perhaps someone is in danger or has actually been hurt. Always at these times, the main concern is to ensure that the individual in question is brought into safety as swiftly as possible. They should then be administered any First Aid which might be necessary, and then taken from the scene. Only once the scene is made safe again should you then continue on with the work, taking on board any errors which happened in order to make it even safer in future.
If there is anything in the way of an obvious culprit or problem which caused the incident, you should remove that from the equation as soon as possible and look into what you can do to ensure it does not happen again. For example, it is often the case that equipment is faulty or used improperly, leading to an injury. If it is down to a problem with the piece of equipment, have that equipment fixed as soon as possible, or replaced altogether. For example, a forklift fails to operate properly and causes injury, so you immediately make sure to put it into the hands of a forklift repair company.
Whatever the problem, once it is rectified, you can then go back to production. This may have stopped your business for a time, but it can be helped in future by keeping your equipment up to date, fixed, and in working order, and ensuring that the individuals in the warehouse are fully trained in using that equipment. Beyond that, it is a matter of hoping that nobody gets hurt.
Poorly Aimed Marketing
Truly, marketing is everything. If you get your marketing wrong, it will almost always mean that you have trouble in your business, no matter what. You need to make sure that you are doing everything you can to keep your marketing in top condition, as hard as that can be. One of the main elements of marketing – and one which goes wrong the most frequently – is to ensure that you are aiming it at the right kind of people. This ensures that you understand who your target market is, how to speak to them to be effective, and what it is that they want. However, sometimes even the most experienced marketer will get something wrong here, and sometimes when this happens it is enough to essentially put your business on hold for the foreseeable future, until the problem is fixed.
Part of the trouble here is that it is often a long time before a problem of this kind is actually identified and diagnosed as being the cause of the main problem in the business. Many times, marketers get away with shoddy advertising for too long, and it leaves a business in a poor position indeed. Therefore, the best approach here is to avoid it happening in the first place – and to do that, you need to make sure that you really know who your target market is.
When you set up the business, it is likely that you began with an idea for a product or service which people could use. Chances are, there are a certain kind of people in particular who could use this product or service more than others, and it is of course those that you should be aiming towards with the marketing. But when this goes wrong, it can indeed spell disaster for the business. To avoid this, be sure to spend a long time in the first place thinking about your customers and who they are. The more you think about it, the more it will impact how you carry out your marketing, even if you give it to a marketing firm to do for you. With that taken care of, you won’t need to worry about your business being put on hold because of poorly aimed marketing. This at least is then one thing you don’t need to worry about.
No business likes to be short-staffed. When you are a small business, it is especially frustrating, because every single person is hugely important for the workings of the business as a whole. When one person in your little office goes sick, you really notice it. However, this is one of the most common problems in all of business, and one which is especially hard to remedy or prevent. Too often, people go sick because of something they could never have guessed was going to happen – or because they are lying, and are off work for another reason. In either case, there is not much you can do to predict it happening, or to stop it happening. The best way to remedy this is to make it much less likely that employees want to call in sick – and that means building a working culture which people genuinely love to be a part of day in, day out.
That is a challenge, but it is perfectly achievable, and it will definitely benefit your business in the long run too. If you are struggling to make this happen, you might want to look into what it is that your employees think could be improved. You might find that this throw up a lot of things you would never have guessed, and it can be an enlightening – if sometimes brutally honest – look into how your working culture might be improved. On the whole, it is useful to have this kind of information to hand, especially if you are starting to struggle regularly with employees calling in sick. The better that you make your working culture, the more it is a genuinely friendly and encouraging place, the more likely it is that you will be able to keep hold of your employees when it matters most. This will stop you having to put things on hold while you run around trying to make everything work, and ultimately it is better for the customer this way as well.
With the above examples, you can see how easily your business might be put on hold. But hopefully, you can also see that there is always a prevention and a cure.