Thursday, October 29, 2009

Keeping up with Trouble

Two weeks ago, my wife broke her arm falling on a slick floor. Since then she has had to be operated on to get the bone set, have a cast put on, and is handling all the other difficulties involved with a broken arm on her dominant hand.

Thankfully she is healing and I have been able to accommodate the changes in my schedule without too much trouble.

Most small business owners do not have that luxury of rearranging their schedule. Someone in the family gets sick, or has an accident or other issues - all of these cause the owner to be pulled away from the business. Yet, being away from it can cause other problems to creep up.

You can't avoid the possibility of someone being sick; what you can do is have a plan for your being out. Are there certain duties you do regularly that you could train another person to do (in your absence)? For example, scheduling employees, or ordering food items. Do the employees know what they need to be doing while you are out? Who makes decisions when you are unavailable?

Now is also the time to have your key tracking financial numbers worked out - so if you are distracted or not able to read through all your normal work activities, you can still keep up with the business. Whether table turn for a restaurant, sales/employee hours or whatever ratio is relevant to your business, now is the time to work that out.

Having processes in order will not avoid all the difficulties, but it will mean that when you are out, there is a lessor chance of major problems arising.

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