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Preparedness – A Strategy for Business Success

February 10, 2016

Business advice for women entrepreneurs and small business owners

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Like most people, I have been intently watching the presidential debates. It could be because a female is running for president and I would love to have a woman leading our country. It might be because the news coverage invades every piece of electronic communications from tweets to social media plugs to television. It could be I simply relish public relations and witnessing candidates’ responses on tough questions from moderators and other contenders. It most likely is a combination of all three reasons and because I find wisdom in everyday occasions.

As a woman who only ran for office once in her life – when I was 15 running for 9th Grade Class President – I can testify to the preparedness needed to address an audience on stage and then answer unknown questions from them afterward. My biggest mistake during my own “presidential” debate was not the fact I was confident enough in myself and my all-girl slate sweeping the other two all-male slates, but that I wrote my speech in red ink on small note cards which I couldn’t read at the podium. Like Senator Rubio the other night, I probably repeated sentences because I couldn’t read my own writing and hadn’t prepared myself to speak without notes.

When the election was over and my fabulous all-girl slate lost, I didn’t blame it on the fact we were bucking the tradition of only boys running for office (this was 1979), I blamed it on that darn red ink and not being able to deliver my speech without prompts. As I watch today’s candidates answer questions quickly without notes, it reminds me of the importance of being prepared in both large and small aspects of life so when an unexpected circumstance arises, we aren’t depending on anything more than our intellect to get us through.

The debates also remind me as a woman business owner we must be ready to be quizzed by customers, members and the community about anything to do with my company especially if something goes wrong with services or products we provide. I may never be quizzed quite as bluntly as the politicians standing on stage at these debates but as entrepreneurs we must be prepared to answer customers complaints or dissatisfaction when the time arises.

Today’s blog post should inspire you to think about the areas of your business where you could prepare more for future positive or negative circumstances. Do you have back up plans if your computer crashes? Do you have staff backup if you need to be away from your office due to personal reasons? Are you prepared to answer customer complaints with poise? How well are you delivering messages to keep your own audience informed? What areas do you feel you are not prepared enough in right now running your company?

You don’t have to run for political office to know you will perform better if you are prepared for questions, issues and circumstances that could arise in any business day today or in the future. Being prepared a little bit more might be exactly what you need.

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