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How to TCB When Life Happens

The last couple of months have been very hectic for me. I have had several big events happen in my life; new girlfriend, moved to a new house, got bronchitis which lead to three arterial fibrillation episodes and more than a week in the hospital, and my thirteen year old Son has started acting like…well a teenager, meaning more school involvement, more personal oversight, and more aggravation, and I am not liking it one bit but all of these things are just things that happen periodically in life.

These events have put a large damper on my business; they created extra expenses paid with funds normally ear marked for business expansion.  My time, always a precious commodity, for servicing and locating has been dramatically cut to bare minimum times. Even my time to write and post on this blog was negatively impacted, why we have had so few new posts of late. It has been hard watching my business slide to zero growth or expansion over the last couple of months.

Now the good news, bulk vending is one of the few businesses that can be very flexible and forgiving when life events impact it. I am back on track, and I should start growing again very soon. None of my locations were negatively impacted by my situation. I shifted my medium performers out to a 60 day cycle service, and only kept my highest performers on a 30 day cycle, giving me the time I needed for everything else. Not one location had any complaints or issues with the longer cycles, so no one, other than me, even knew of my problems.

The only hiccup I had was while in the hospital I received a call from one of my best performing accounts, the owner was selling the business and the new owner wanted the machines out ASAP. Not a lot I could do from my hospital bed, but I managed it thanks to some friends and a little cash.

My point here is to demonstrate life will happen whether your business is prepared for it or not. I had to adjust and figure out how to handle mine on the fly, I think I handled it pretty well, but I wasn’t prepared for it and it could have been much worse. So now is when I am starting to think about having some back-up planning so I can easily continue to take care of business when life happens. Some of the things I have already incorporated recruiting a couple young men, who I trust, who are willing to move my equipment if/when needed. I have been taking a family member with me on some service calls so that she can take over on collections and service if I become incapacitated for an extended purpose and making sure my records are current so that she has names, addresses and service cycles at hand for reference if needed.

My recommendation to you would be to sit down and make a list of possible situations that could impact your business and start putting together your own COOP, Continuation Of Operations Plan, just in case, because you never know.

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