5 ways small businesses can prepare for the unexpected

Editorial Team

4 min read
Purple lightning strike

Unexpected events–like new technology, winter storms, pandemics, or even cyber threats, to name a few–pose challenges and opportunities business owners need to navigate to ensure a business’ existence and growth.

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Back in the 80s, critics of the internet said it would fail within a year. Now, nearly 40 years later, the internet has completely transformed modern life–especially business.

Unfortunately, many businesses and even industries that failed to envision and embrace the power of the internet were sidelined and even faced obsolescence. But for those businesses that had the foresight to envision and plan for change, the internet brought opportunity.

Like the rise of the internet, unexpected events can pose challenges and opportunities that business owners need to plan for and navigate to ensure their existence and growth. While the unexpected can be frustrating for already-busy small business owners, some planning and preparation can make it easier to manage through the challenges and embrace the opportunities of the unexpected. 

Check out five ways business owners can prepare and manage through the unexpected.

1. Create a business continuity plan

A business continuity plan is a guide for navigating through challenging events. It should include different scenarios that could negatively impact business, clear steps to help primary stakeholders manage the event, designated management charged with leading any transition strategies, and any other vital information–such as how to gain access to backup business records–to ensure things can continue as normal. This plan should be created in the early stages of the business. The good news is it’s never too late to start. Putting a plan in place is a good way to ensure business keeps moving if the unexpected happens.

2. Promote an agile work environment

If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s taught us that adaptability and agility are core to keeping a business running and meeting customer needs when the unexpected happens. Clover’s enhanced inventory app, for example, makes it easier to manage menus, merchandise, and service offerings for online and POS orders. By keeping close tabs on these items, businesses can pivot quickly to prevent service interruptions.What’s more, this app helps businesses provide transparency and communicate changes to customers quickly. 

3. Build and empower a flexible team

Building a team of employees that understands the value of flexibility is critical for managing through unexpected situations. JazzHR, an applicant tracking system in the Clover App Market, is a great tool to help business owners find and attract best-fit employees. On average, Clover businesses get about 23 applicants within the first nine hours of using JazzHR. With a broader applicant pool, business owners can feel more confident in their hiring decisions. 

4. Choose tools that are easy to learn and use

Complex tools and processes can expose a business’s vulnerabilities when a major disruption occurs. It’s best to prepare for such a situation by choosing devices and processes that are simple to learn and use. A Clover POS system is easy to set up and operate. For business owners and their employees, that means a gentler learning curve–especially when training new staff. Further, Clover devices can operate offline, so business can continue even during power or internet outages.

5. Adapt, adapt, adapt

When the unexpected hits, one of the most effective strategies for survival is simply to adapt. That could mean rethinking the way you do business or even your entire business model. The right tools can help business owners transition through change and keep business hopping. Take, for example, the Contactless Dining + Online Order by 4 Leaf Labs , available in the Clover App Market. When the pandemic hit, many restaurants were faced with adapting to a “new normal” or closing their doors. With tools like Contactless Dining, restaurant owners were able adapt quickly to meet the changing needs of their customers. 

Unexpected situations can be inconvenient, scary, and costly. But, with a little planning, lots of flexibility, and the right team and tools, business can continue. With its suite of customizable POS systems and a robust app market full of resources for nearly every aspect of business, Clover makes it easy to prepare for and adapt to the unexpected.

To learn how Clover can help you run your business easier, contact a Clover Business Consultant today.