California Earthquake Lessons for Entrepreneurs

Running your business from historical trends is like driving your car looking through the rear view mirror. Peter Drucker once said: “Identify the future that has already happened”. Your ability to recognize trends, both past and future, is an important skill for your entrepreneurial success. These lessons observed from a recent California Earthquake might help you survive the shake up:
  • Accept that shake ups are part of the adventure.
  • Have backup plans for things that break.
  • Avoid the bottomless pits.
A good business strategist will advise you to accept failure as part of your journey to success. The shake up is not what does harm to your business. It is the resulting chaos from unfortunate events that can ruin your entrepreneurial dreams. Prepare for market recessions with savings, redundant equipment, backup systems, and team training. Survive the crisis with your business intact and obtain a unique advantage to take advantage of market trends. Your ability to pay cash when others are desperately seeking credit means you could save thousands by purchasing equipment from failing operations. Snatching up top talent from your faltering competition is a rarely discussed tactical move. Earthquakes are inevitable. Shake ups in the economy or specific market niches are also predictable. Prepare for these inevitable but unfortunate events with backup plans. Never allow yourself to be retained by only a few clients that supply your entire income. If you lose just one big client then your business may collapse. Maintain your relationships with even the smallest of your customers. You never know when that seemingly insignificant customer will become the next leader. Stay true to the slogan “Dance with the one who brought you”. Hollywood, California earthquake films often show massive quakes with fire, brimstone, and the earth splitting into gaping holes. The quickly appearing holes swallow anything and everything in sight. Similar, but metaphorical, holes also form in economic markets. The smart entrepreneur is also a smart business strategist. It is wise to watch every dime that flows in and out of your operation. Keep a close eye on the nickels and dimes as they can add up to real money. Avoid the temptation to commit to anything resembling a contract for payment on things like fleet vehicles. Hire freelancers, temporary employees, and independent contractors where possible. Your ability to expand and contract with the demands of the market is a significant strategic advantage. You want the ability to shed dead weight and be nimble to sidestep the gaping holes that swallow up your competitors. Success as an entrepreneur is often about survival of the fittest. Your ability to accept that catastrophes are part of the lifecycle of a business is important. Once you accept that temporary setbacks are inevitable, you can prepare accordingly. Being prepared for industry shake ups means a more stable entrepreneurial experience and a higher chance of sustainable success.  
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