As a small business owner, you know the only thing that’s certain in business is that the unexpected will happen. Preparing for these unexpected events is therefore one of the most crucial parts of your role as business owner. After all, no one else is going to help you anticipate the challenges you will face in the course of doing business, and some of your competitors might even be hoping that you don’t anticipate them so your business will fail.
So, since it’s ‘you against the world’, here are two of the most serious small business situations you might face, highlighted by Boynton Waldron, along with a basic idea of how to prepare for and handle them.
If you check the social media pages of most major businesses, you will see the “lawsuit” word pop up in the comments multiple times a day. Consumers know that this little word can have huge ramifications for a business, no matter their size. Fortunately for big business, they typically have several high-powered lawyers on retainer whom they can consult and depend on at a moment’s notice. As a small business, however, even the threat of a lawsuit is something to take seriously, as a successful case against you could have business-ending consequences.
The best way to prepare for this scenario is to consult a business attorney any time you do anything which has the potential to trigger a lawsuit. Everything from the products you offer to the claims you make to the ways in which you provide your services should be closely scrutinised to ensure it is done in such a way so as to prevent a potential lawsuit. If the lawsuit talk from a customer escalates, it’s important to consult and partner with a business lawyer as soon as possible in order to avoid saying or doing anything that could hurt your case.
Major competitor opens nearby
Another nightmare scenario for a small business owner is if a national company that operates in your category opens a brick and mortar location near yours. Their selection, advertising, and convenience will be difficult if not impossible to match. Especially if you’re in a small to medium-size town, the market may not be able to support two identical businesses in the same category.
Fortunately, when the going gets tough, the tough get going, and you are absolutely as tough as they come. When big brother moves in, it’s time to double-down on your commitment to individuality and customer service. Don’t try to compete with the larger business on things that will only hurt your bottom line. Focus on unique products that only you can offer, the high level of comfort and care you provide to each of your customers, and your commitment to making the city a better place. By differentiating yourself from the big box stores, you still stand a much better chance of weathering the storm.
Plan in advance
The most crucial aspect when considering any nightmare scenario is to plan, plan, and plan. Don’t put off a selection of a good attorney until you are actually in need of one. Don’t analyse your business for unique qualities that you can market to customers after another business has already opened up. Do these things in advance and then constantly re-evaluate your initial conclusions to ensure you’re on the right track. By planning in advance, it’s less likely you’ll be caught off guard when a serious situation occurs, giving you more time to react and a better chance to have a successful outcome.