Consulting for Small to Medium size Industrial Products companies
Small manufacturers must avoid minefields
by Warren Martin, Founder on August 27th, 2013

Small Manufacturing businesses must avoid the minefields

Many small and even larger businesses find themselves in trouble because they have not prepared for the eventualities of unexpected/unanticipated problems that will occur and do occur in all businesses. The answer to mitigating these issues lies in good RISK MANAGEMENT.

Many have heard or seen the phrase used “Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance.” It applies directly to the dilemma of the unexpected and unanticipated problems that have or will be faced by all businesses.  Below are just a few suggestions on how to attempt to manage risk.

Ask yourself a series of “what if” questions and see if you have plans for recovering if these situations were to happen.

Develop some cursory disaster recovery plans for fire or other “acts of God.”

Develop business interruption plans, particularly for your computer system, as well as extended power outages.

Be ready with a communication plan to your customers, employees, suppliers, and the press in case a disaster was to occur at your business.

Get another set of eyes (risk consultant or other) to tour your operation and look for potential conditions that may exist that could be unsafe, fire hazard, or otherwise.

Make sure you have a rock solid environmental mitigation plan in place if your business handles or has the potential to create environmentally unsafe pollutants, etc.

Have you considered the potential for major supplier disruption, and do you have a back-up plan? In some small businesses, the loss of key people could be devastating to the business.

Have contingency and succession plans.
Many small businesses have a majority of their business concentrated with one or several key customers. Continue to serve them well but find ways to lessen the blow to the business if you were to lose them.

Logistics interruptions should be considered likelihood and backup plans established for immediate implementation.

These are just a few of the things that should be addressed by management involving risk. The message here is that Risk Management is important to small business growth and continuity. Don’t let your business step on the mine! Plan for and Manage risk.   

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