I tend to think in failed scenarios. This may seem like a very pessimistic attitude… But, I don’t see it that way. I’m always prepared and I’m rarely surprised. For most things in life, I have a “Plan B” – or a “damage control action plan”.
If poop hits the wall, what is your plan? What is YOUR damage control action plan?
Here are a few scenarios where you may want to consider having a damage control action plan:
- you’re a photographer and your second shooter is in a car accident on the way to the wedding
- you’re a wedding planner and you get swine flu the night before a wedding
- you’re an invitation designer and your supplier tells you they are back-ordered for 2 months on the emerald green envelope your client wanted
- you’re a cake designer and your delivery person takes the curve too quickly and your client’s cake is mashed into the side of their carseat
- you’re a florist and there is a huge volcano over Iceland that is preventing all flights from Europe from getting to the US, including floral shipments (yes, this really happened in 2010)
- the economy implodes and your sales are down by 40%
- an article comes out in the latest bridal magazine claiming that _______ (insert your trade here) is a thing of the past!
I’m sure you could create back-up plans for hundreds of scenarios. (I know I could!) But – that’s plain crazy. FOCUS: What are your most critical areas of business? What are your highest risk scenarios? Where do you carry the biggest threat? Pick a few and create a damage control action plan for each. I recommend actually writing down the plan and/or creating a checklist with:
- if _____ happens, then do the following: ______
- include phone numbers of back-ups or replacements
- include response steps
- include a script for how to share this to the client (if necessary) <— when we are under pressure we don’t want to let on to the client that we are feeling stressed. A script will help you remain calm and composed.
Have you done this before? Share with us in a comment below what your damage control action plan is.