Prepare or Perish: These Business Nightmares Could Happen to You

Business.com / Managing / Last Modified: February 22, 2017

Bad things can happen to a company or business if the proper precautions are not taken. Here's how to prepare for the worst.

There are plenty of situations that keep business owners and managers up at night.

Certain situations can lead to the crumbling of a business or termination as many disasters in the workplace need a scapegoat.

Running a business can be difficult and there are situations that all companies must face sooner or later.

The following are some nightmares that companies might run into during the coming year.

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Failed Drug Tests of Star Employees

Failed drug tests aren’t a big deal if the person who failed it was replaceable. There could come a day where a star sales agent or someone who is irreplaceable fails a drug test. Evaluating your drug testing policy is important as a zero tolerance policy could lead to an employee of worth being let go.

Drug testing in the workplace has been around for decades but the percentage of failed drug tests has plummeted during this time.  For the first time in around 100 years, marijuana is legal so revisiting the policy is important as many people use medical marijuana for a variety of sicknesses and conditions. The grey area of impairment becomes the question now just like it does with alcohol.

What To Do: Revisit your drug testing policy and make sure your hands aren’t tied if a star employee fails a drug test. There are many drug-free workplaces that do not test on a regular basis unless there is a reason to test. If a company has a government contract they immediately have a drug testing policy implemented to keep the contract, in this case the company doesn’t have the opportunity to save a star employee in case of a failed drug test.

Data Breach

This happens to even the largest companies like Target and the smaller companies are more at risk for attack because many do not have the security that corporate juggernauts do. Taking preventative measures is the obvious solution but having a dependable company that protects information is another viable option. Data breaches happen but it is how a company responds to one that defines how it will be remembered.

What To Do: Being prepared and having secure servers and a secure website is essential. One data breach can leave clients and customers feeling like their information isn’t safe in the hands of the company. If the breach has already occurred it could be time to offer discounts for customer loyalty. Even a small discount can go a long way in retaining customers after their information has been compromised.

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A Huge Client Leaves

Having a large client leave can cripple many businesses and bankrupts many businesses each year. The quality of work could have a huge part to do with the client leaving but sometimes companies just go in different directions.

If the company has found a company that is more affordable and does the same quality work then the question becomes whether the company should stick by their pricing or drop the pricing in order to keep the client. This might seem like a simple answer but for companies with boards and shareholders, this can be a bit more complicated.

What To Do: Obviously a company will want to keep their largest client but they should have a disaster plan in case they leave. Try to not have a huge percentage of revenue come from just one client and try to sure up contract negotiations so the client cannot leave arbitrarily. Stagger client contracts so that the resigning of clients doesn’t happen all during the same month.

This gives the company the ability to court their client and convince them to resign. If all of this happens at once there is a possibility the company will not give each client the attention they deserve. Keeping the work at high quality is important but improving this quality leading up to the end of a contract might be enough to keep the company’s largest client.

Natural Disaster

This is something that cannot be controlled by the location of company offices should be picked very carefully. Try to stay out of flood zones or areas where disasters could occur. Equipment can be ruined and days can be lost, days without productivity can be as costly as the disaster itself especially if it occurs during the busy season in a company’s industry.

What To Do: Having the appropriate insurance for these types of disasters is essential. Failure to have the proper insurance can be a huge cash drain if offices or equipment are damaged or ruined. Consult with an insurance agent as they have a thorough knowledge of what will be covered in case of disaster.

Wrongful Termination Lawsuit

There will come a time when someone you hold accountable for their actions will come back after being fired with a lawsuit. The ex-employee has the right to bring this lawsuit against you but this doesn’t mean that they will win. This can cost quite a lot of money in lawyer’s fees as well as be a headache for you and your company. In a smaller company this can cripple the business if they do not have funds available to fight the suit.

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What To Do: Having a lawyer on retainer can save thousands of dollars rather than just hiring one when you need them. Make sure to document each reprimand of the employee and have them sign these as well. This can help you defend your termination to a judge and help a case not even see trial. When terminating an employee they might become hostile and saying personal things about you or other members of the company. End this conversation as the termination is not a debate as something you say can be brought up in court.

Plenty of wrongful termination suits are thrown out in the early stages just from having documentation so remember to document everything even if it seems harmless. Bad things happen to businesses but being prepared and not panicking is of the utmost importance. Take precautions against these nightmares and a company might have a dream year!

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