Is your business volcano proof?

Once again we have had a cloud of volcanic ash drifting over Europe, causing distress to both businesses and individuals. Holidays were postponed and business related travel and air freight was delayed. Did we handle things better this time? Did we learn from our mistakes or from the mistakes of others? In many respects how a business handles adversity can tell you a lot about their future. Those that plan properly generally have better prospects.

The choices we make are informed by our view of the world. If a company has a live SWOT tool (Strengths / Weaknesses / Opportunities / Threats) then a simple routine update can show how the world is evolving and how it impacts on us here and now. I heard an analogy today which likened this to poking a Swiss Cheese with a stick. Occasionally all of the holes line up and the stick goes straight through. You just need to be aware of this phenomena and alter things when a significant event occurs. Opportunities are constantly changing. By being aware of what is happening at any one point in time means that calculated decisions can be made. Your strategy will help your business to manage risk when it comes to making decisions and hence allow you to select from the opportunities you have in front of you.

Defining your business' 'main effort' will help to discriminate against activities that don't help your business achieve its goals. Time wasting efforts can be minimised because you will have clarity, as well as maintaining momentum in the right direction. Sometimes it is not possible to follow the plan exactly but if you know what the overall goal is you can make sure that you make progress even when events overtake you and push you sideways.

Being effective as a business is the next part of the puzzle. There are many approaches that are useful, whether it is some form of routine in the business, mistake proofing systems or time management; you need to be effective with your resources. The opportunities that we spot, can take advantage of and effectively handle will determine our success.

The ash cloud isn't adversely affecting everyone. The businesses that have flexible strategies, are able to weed out the time wasting activities and are effective with their efforts will still move ahead when there is disruption. There are those that cope with problems and those that collapse. Which one is your business?

If you want to chat about how this can impact on your operation then give us a ring.

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