October 13, 2020

What Happens If You Get Scared Half-to-Death, Twice?

By Paul Bieber

Are they two different episodes or does it add up to a full death? In a glass business, being scared this way comes from installing glass incorrectly at a jobsite; it comes from receiving a large invoice to pay, that you thought had been paid; or when you thought you had a smoothly running glass business and your foreman walks in handing you a resignation to open his own shop. You didn’t see that coming, did you?

So what do you do? Or, better yet, what don’t you do? You don’t panic, you don’t start crying and you don’t feel the world is crashing in on you. What do you do? You take a loose-leaf binder down from a shelf and look at the page where you had imagined an event like this and be prepared to take the steps you wrote out when you were not under the immediate pressure you face today. Here is how to prepare that book.

First, set your mind to do it. Absolutely no business is immune from problems. When you get a quiet moment, write a problem on the top of a sheet of paper. Calmly, write out the steps you would take to overcome that problem and come out ahead because of it.

Write out each step to take, who in your company takes the step, who assists and who doesn’t get involved, even though they think they should. Write the phone numbers and email addresses of the people you have to contact next to their name. Note what you want to tell them and how you are addressing the situation. Write out a plan for today to address the problem, and what you will do on day two or day three. Be specific with these steps.

In the front of your problem book, have all employee work and home phone numbers, the numbers of your key vendors and their local reps and your service providers such as tow trucks, programmers and plumbers. Include your personal problems as well. Your family doctor and lawyer would go here.

Keep a copy of this book at work, at home and in a file on your phone. Update with a new problem about once a week. It only takes ten minutes. In a year you will have it done. Going forward, read through you book, updating procedures as your company grows and changes.

When you are happy with your book, give a copy to your number two person so they can react when you are not available. If you are in a partnership, split up the areas of expertise with each partner contributing.

I know this sounds like you are planning to have problems. Hopefully one never occurs and you can laugh at me ten years from now. I will laugh right along with you.

And for the Shane Bieber report. Cousin Shane was beaten up fairly well by the Yankees. That hurt. But he closed out this virus-shortened baseball year as the best pitcher in the American League and should be a shoo-in for the Cy Young award. I’ll let you know how Shane does.