The other day a business owner asked me what, in my opinion, should be the number one thing for her to be paying attention to in the current environment?
If she had asked me this question a few weeks ago, I may have given a slightly different answer. But something I experienced since then has refined my focus.
A little background, then I’ll make my point.
A few weeks ago, I attended a political forum for business owners. The discussion centered on a recent court ruling against a privately held company (If you are interested in the specifics, google ‘Dynamex ABC Test’). Bottom line, it is another example of the creation of an environment where an employee can sue their employer for any reason. And, a member of congress from Southern California has proposed that the findings be made permanent.
That was bad enough, but it was what happened during the Q&A at the end of the meeting that really got to me.
First, a young business owner couple seated behind me stood up and shared their experience with an employee lawsuit that, in their words, “wiped them out”.
Next to speak was a guy to my left. Virtually the same story. “Lost everything”.
Finally, an entrepreneur down the row shared her experience of being doggedly pursued by the local EOC, eventually causing her to shut her business down.
I had heard enough.
If you own a business, what is the # 1 thing you should be keyed to?
Finding a way to build a moat around your castle.
Clearly, we are in a marketplace where opportunities abound, but it is also a harsh environment with very little standing between you as a business owner, and those who would think nothing of coming in and taking everything you’ve spent years building.
If you’ve built a successful enterprise over the last five, ten or twenty years, it’s crazy to leave yourself completely open to what could amount to nothing more than a money grab.
So, what should you do? Get big-time proactive in developing your own stronghold, a suit of armor built to fit you and your specifications.
Strategic options exist but let me be clear that I’m not talking about the so called ‘corporate shield’. In fact, if you want to know how well standard corporate protections hold up, just ask any of the three owners I mentioned earlier. They’ll likely laugh in your face.
~ Dan Darchuck, Chief Executive Officer