December 4, 2021 #1 Local News, Forum, Information and Event Source for Venice Beach, California.

Beyond Planning: What to Do When Crisis Strikes

Crisis planning is a part of every business owner’s basic training. You wouldn’t bring on a high-level manager who didn’t have that on their resumé. As the old saying goes, if you fail to plan, then you plan to fail. You can’t just go through your business life thinking that you are just going to wing it whatever comes what may. Those who fly by the seat of their pants tend to crash by the tip of their nose. That face-plant into the unforgiving muck of failure is brought to you by short-sighted arrogance. Don’t let it happen to you.

What you might not know is just how big the delta is between planning and doing. As Mike Tyson famously said, everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face. If you prefer the classics, Sun Tzu said No battle plan survives contact with the enemy. Take your pick of wise sayings from wise sages. Lots of businesses are learning this lesson the hard way. Over a third of California restaurants are unable to pay rent. That’s what I call getting punched in the face. COVID takes no prisoners. Just remember that is only one disaster. The world is cooking up more even as you read this. When you find yourself on the ropes after being punched in the face, your plan might end up doing you little good. Don’t panic. Do this instead:

Get a Loan

A bank might not want to lend you money once it is clear that you actually need it. Good credit tends to go to the people who can prove they don’t need it. You will need one of those personal loans no credit issue can bar you from getting. Thankfully, there are sources available that can provide just that without locking you into terms that will make you wish you had chosen bankruptcy instead.

A loan is the sort of thing you can do in the moment. But before it comes to that, you can also start a savings account. It is surprising how much you can save just by putting a little away from time to time. It doesn’t have to be on a regular schedule. When you have enough money to go out to eat, pretend that you are going to a slightly more expensive restaurant and put the extra into the savings account. Don’t let the savings account be your only fallback. But if it is, just know that you have sources at your disposal.

Try Something New

Startups have been soaring since the pandemic. That is because necessity is the mother of invention. And a lot of people have been punched in the face by necessity as of late. They got knocked down. But they didn’t stay down. They got up, brushed themselves off, and started something new. That is the heart of the entrepreneurial spirit. 

Before the pandemic, the only kinds of restaurants that knew anything about delivery were Chinese and pizza restaurants. A lot of businesses had to learn in a hurry. Delivery services stepped in to fill the gap. But that wasn’t the entire story. Restaurants still had to learn which items on their menu could be prepared in a way that could survive delivery. What parts of their menu would be available for online ordering? What new packaging techniques could they adopt for deliverables? Pizza companies figured out pizza boxes and hot pouches a long time ago. It is an entirely different problem for a high-end steak house. You have to be unafraid to fail. If the old thing stops working. Don’t despair. Try something new.

Partner with Others

In case you need another old saying, try this one: If we don’t stand together, we will surely fall apart. When the crisis hits, it doesn’t just come for you. It tends to come for a lot of people in the same sinking ship. The thing about sinking ships is that with enough hands on deck, they can be bailed out and brought safely to shore. Your businesses can survive if you find the right people who are willing to help shoulder the burden and share the profit when things are back on track. 

You might have to file your plan under the category of things that make god laugh. Beyond the plan, be prepared to get a loan, try something new, and partner with other people. 

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