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Catastrophic Muck-Ups And How to Avoid Them

The One Where Mel Almost Cooked Her Cash Flow

Catastrophic Muck-Ups

Mel's had her fair share of Catastrophic Muck-Ups. Most recently a kitchen fit out was delayed three weeks, which could've devastated her cash flow, but she saw it coming and planned ahead. And the secret to her intuition? Diligence, attention, and forecasting.

The full catastrophe

“The biggest Catastrophic Muck-Up I’ve experienced isn’t a one-off incident – it’s becoming complacent. When you’re running a small business, circumstances can change overnight and if you’re not paying attention it can have catastrophic consequences.

We’re working on the fit out of our new shop and it’s taken three weeks of my time to be on site overseeing the project to make sure everything’s right. That’s three weeks away from the rest of the business. A few years ago that would’ve been disastrous, but because I have such a great team, I was able to foresee this, plan for it and avoid a catastrophic muck-up.

“Running a business means you’re always busy and if you get too caught up in the day-to-day, it’s easy to forget to check your cash flow, your bank balance, you miss the indicators that suggest a quiet period is around the corner.” – Mel Townsend, owner of Vanilla Zulu

If you're not on track, change something

“Being able to forecast and foresee things comes with time and experience. When you’re a younger business, it’s harder to know what unexpected challenges the next month may bring. A big trap for small business is not updating and changing your business plan as your business grows. You need to adjust your plan as your business changes. If you’re not on track to achieve your goals, you need to change something. Adapt and try something different.

Obviously, if you’re being complacent, it’s easy to miss little things slipping that can become much larger headaches later on. It’s so easy to become complacent. Running a business means you’re always busy and if you get too caught up in the day-to-day, it’s easy to forget to check your cash flow, your bank balance, you miss the indicators that suggest a quiet period is around the corner. You need to be vigilant and the key to staying on top of everything is being disciplined and organised.”

Read the full story about Vanilla Zulu and see what Mel learned about staffing.

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Sharing customer success stories from good businesses around Australia, practical good business guides and the occasional catastrophic muck-up (and how to avoid them).

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