Leadership: Disappointments & Setbacks (Part 3)

Have a Plan “B” –

What do you do if your most valuable employee gets sick, your main vendor can’t take on more work, or your best customer folds or flees? Will you panic? Will you fall into dire straights? Or do you have it all covered?

“Plan B” is always necessary. However, be careful that knowing that you have options doesn’t cause you to let the current plan fail because of a halfhearted commitment to it. For example, you don’t want to chase away your best vendor just because of a small issue even if you do have another vendor that you can use.

What exactly does your “Plan B” need to include? When it comes to people, you can cross train your employees. It’s easy to set up multiple vendors, and you can always take steps to be sure that one customer isn’t the source of most of your business. Think about it. If you only have one customer, you’ll be in trouble if something happens to that customer.

If the issues are big enough, “Plan B,” may mean a second job. About 5 years ago, I noticed that folks were taking on second jobs. Perhaps it has always been this way, but I think there may have been an increase in the number of folks doing that as the economy has worsened.

If you are a business owner, when hard times come, you must decide if what you are currently doing is viable – particularly if you are the sole person doing all the work. If it is, you may need to expand or alter your business to include other products or services. If it isn’t viable, you are wasting your time.

Sometimes “Plan B” means that your company needs to morph into something new. In case you don’t know, 3M was originally named the Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company. They made a big change which led to major success!

Sometimes new technology and innovations dictate a necessity for change. Consider how many do-it-yourself websites are springing up. Between that and the number of folks studying web design, the small web design company has met its match.

Sometimes you’ll discover that you’ll be more successful doing something else because that particular market is growing. Consider the current market for cell phone apps. It wasn’t that many years ago that this market sprang up.

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
Ecclesiastes 3:1

Having a “Plan B” will often save you in times of trouble. It’s your provision. Pray about your plan before you make it.


If things are going well, develop a “Plan B” that will enable you to pick up the slack when an issue arises. If things aren’t going so well, look at other options for expanding your current business to include more services or products, and consider what else you may be able to do that’s a bit different.

Your Big Challenge

Remember that disappointments and setbacks will come sooner or later. Be prepared to respond as a leader. Pull your team together. Paint a clear vision. Prepare the appropriate exit survey to capture valuable information. Improve on any weak areas you discover. Develop a “Plan B” to cover your bases. Cross train folks and try not to commit to only one client. Remember, when the economy is tough, your “Plan B” may include major changes to your products and services. Take time to research options and make plans for a slowing economy.

Most of all, remember to pray before you act.