Ten years ago, I came home from work one particular day and headed off to the house – just like any normal day. As I did, I did a quick pasture scan to make sure both horses were accounted for. Lady was standing at the gate ready to come in for supper, and her daughter, Baylee, was standing in the woods.
Check. Time to get some supper.
After supper, I headed off to the barn and got the stalls all ready for the horses to come in. When I went to the gate, Lady wouldn’t come. Weird because food was her favourite thing!
I investigated a little further to find out that Baylee was caught in the fence. Her halter was actually clipped to the top wire and one of her front legs was over the bottom wire.
And there she stood.
We were in a mess – potentially.
I have no real idea of how long she had been there like that – but it was at least 45 minutes.
I was lucky because she didn’t panic or struggle – which could have been a completely different outcome – perhaps not one with a happy ending.
But really luck had nothing to do with it. I had actually done my homework and had worked with Baylee to put her through different situations so that when something like this happened, she was prepared.
Are you prepared in your business?!
As I tell many people, when you have a plan, and have run through the various what if’s, then when a requirement for a fast decision or quick response is needed, you already have certain processes in place to be able to respond. Systems are your panic prevention plan.
Here is what I suggest to make sure that you are prepared: Play the What If game.
It’s the only time I allow my clients to play the what if game. Lots of times people use the what if to keep them from making a decision. In this case, I want you to play out the various scenarios and say What if… and then make a plan for that what if.
With my horse, I say what if she got tangled up in rope, a dog jumps out of the bushes while we’re riding, an umbrella pops open in the crowd during one of our runs, or simply meeting a vehicle for the first time. I set up the situation in a controlled environment where we can safely practice, and I do this until we no longer get a reaction.
In your business……………………
What if your client wants to make payments outside of the normal payment offering that you have? What do you do?
What if your client wants to reschedule their appointment at the last minute? What do you do?
What if your client doesn’t submit their paperwork on time? What do you do?
What if you forget that you were supposed to be at an event and you have client appointments lined up? What do you do?
What if someone else answers your phone and the caller is asking about your programs and rates? Does that person know what to say?
What if ……………………………..?
Don’t under estimate the value of taking some time to go through your systems in your business, to purchase your own products, to have someone else test your customer service responses.Time spent now will be time and aggravation saved when the turn-around time to make a decision is a very small window.
I guarantee that if you think that you don’t have time now – when it’s really a crisis, you will have even less time.