One year, we took our young kids to a circus. There were some really spectacular acts, including the grand finale: A man shot across the arena from a cannon. The next day I heard my then four-year-old tell my two-year-old, “Come over here and climb into this cannon and I’ll shoot you out.” I have no doubt that had we owned a cannon my youngest would have been sailing across the room propelled by an explosive.
That’s one of the reasons we don’t keep a cannon lying around. Look around your business. Do you have any “cannons” that could be accidentally (or deliberately) fired?
- Do you have a large number of financial tasks concentrated in one position within your business? If that can’t be avoided, are there checks and balances in place to provide financial oversight?
- Do you have a business credit card or line of credit that you aren’t paying down every month?
- Do you have business-critical data on a server located somewhere on your premises? Is it vulnerable to heat or located near a sprinkler head? Is your data backed up offsite?
- Do you have a key employee who has been dropping hints that they are dissatisfied with their compensation or working conditions?
- Do you suspect one of your employees might be harassing another? If so, have you investigated it? Do you have a policy they can follow to report this to you?
- Is a large percent of your business concentrated in one or a few clients?
- Are you reliant on one supplier for your product?
These aren’t the only potential explosions but they’re a few of the big ones. If you do own a cannon please do yourself a favor – get rid of it.
Have you headed off an explosion? Tell me how. Send your stories to firstname.lastname@example.org – if I use them I’ll feature your business.