Do you have a business survival plan?

I never saw it coming.  Just a loud bang and my car started spinning.  It was over in just a couple of seconds.  Just a few days ago my car was hit by a drunk driver.  The police estimate that he was traveling at over 100 mph (160kph) when he hit me.  Fortunately it was my lucky day!  I was able to walk away from the accident with no injuries.  My body aches but I am alive.  However it made me think; what if it was not my lucky day?

Lives can be changed or even come to an end in a fraction of a second.  It is vital to have plans in place to insure the survival of your business.  While most reasonable business people take steps to provide for and protect their family with insurance policies and financial planning, it is easy to forget that many other families are dependent on your ability to keep your business going.    If you have a retail jewellery store the associated problems are even more complex.  You need to have a comprehensive plan to insure the smooth operation of your store in the event that something happens to you



This is probably the easiest part of the plan.  Your accountant and bookkeeper should have the necessary skills and proper access to your affairs to be sure that the bills are paid on time.  Take some time to discuss what needs to be done in your absence.   You may need to grant a power of attorney to give them the ability to sign checks for you.

Store management

If you already have a good general manager for your store, they should be able to take over the day to day operation of the business.  If not, consider training one of your team to run the store for you.  Your employees and their families depend on the continuation of your business.  They are counting on you to have a plan to insure their paychecks keep coming.

Technical skills

This is the area that separates a jewellery business from most other retail stores.  We have a business that requires technical expertise.  In many stores the owner is the primary benchman.  There will be jobs in progress that need to be finished.  If you have other jewellers working in your shop, appoint one of them to take the lead.  If you are the only one at the bench you need to have someone that can take over for you.  Talk to your colleagues in other stores and set up a plan for them to help out long enough to clear your current jobs.  Offer to do the same for them.  That nice young couple needs to get their wedding set in time for their marriage.  Your long standing customer is expecting her precious heirloom to be repaired properly and on time.  Don’t let them down.

Do it now!

It is human nature; we don’t want to think about the big “What if?”  But it is one of the most important things we need to do if we are in business.  Start planning immediately.  Your life could be over in just a fraction of a second and it might be today.  You do not have time to put off this vital task.  I just had my wakeup call…don’t wait for yours.

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