Risky Business: Don’t prepare to fail by failing to prepare

Business risks are inherent in almost every venture. Power surges, staff issues, catastrophes and communication issues that can determine the future of a project. However, there are certain precautions a company can take in order to avoid complications postponing project delivery. However, most of these types of problems and obstacles can be resolved and addressed within the firm, especially if there is a risk management system that protects your work. Identifying such issues will need benchmarking the firm’s practices and processes based on several guidelines we’ve collected bellow.

Choose your clients wisely

It is important to set the rules early on. You need to be clear on what you or your client wants and what you can deliver. Some clients come into the collaboration with clear ideas about what they want, which makes your work easier. Try to avoid unreliable clients and those not willing to pay adequately for your expertise. Try to get a sense of the company culture early on, so to avoid situations where finger-pointing takes place of problem solving and individual relationships jeopardize the outcome of the collaboration. This is where good interpersonal skills come to play, as you may need to strategize and tend to the situation before it gets out of hand and turns into a lawsuit. Preferably, you should watch out for red flags and prioritize.

Back up your Data

Your data is among the most important assets. Having a single backup is not sufficient when it comes to the survival of your business. Floods, power surges and human error are possible causes of catastrophic situations. This is why you should consider implementing at least two of the following backup strategies. Local Backups Each employee should have their own external hard drives and backup systems. Having a system that backups your data in intervals, making it easier to restore files in the event of failure. Most critical data are usually stored on servers, but businesses should consider backing these up in the case of system failure. There are several ways of backing up servers, including services provided by cloud storage companies.

Cloud Services

Storing data on an off-site location can be a good way of ensuring that copies of your files and critical data remain safe. It is important to chose a reliable cloud storage provider with a good track record. You should use data encryption when counting on an external organization for safekeeping your files. Surge protectors are an efficient but often overlooked solution when it comes to protecting computers and data during storm season. A high-quality surge protector combined with a power supply battery backup is an essential part of risk management. Thorough records of a project are not only essential to efficient management of it, but of huge assistance in the event that things go wrong. Apart from benefitting your own workflow, having files prepared as a usual practice, regardless of circumstances, and not formulated only under emergency conditions enhances the your credibility in the eyes of your clients.

Don’t rely on a single designer

Common business procedures such as choosing clients, writing up contracts, and collaborating on projects needs to be an integral part of your business routine. However, training your entire team to recognize how to use these procedures could help protect the company against risks. Generally speaking, each team is usually headed by a single manager who has an overarching knowledge of the project, good technical skills and understanding of where the project is going. Although it helps to have a design teams that knows who their primary contact, having employees who understand the system as a whole-the dependencies, data flow and the project concept-could be the key to a successful endeavor. This encourages collaboration and helps avoid having to reinvent several wheels during the course of a project.

Working across time zones

How to keep good organization and unity in a team spread out over multiple time zones? Experts stress the importance of having a consistent schedule that helps employees working remotely integrate into the group. Having regular meetings is crucial in fostering team cohesion and giving structure to the work at hand. This creates a close connection that allows projects to be shared and updated even when individual employees take time off, travel, have celebrations, maternity and paternity leaves, etc. Using technologies that provide video connection is preferable to telephone calls, as having eye contact with those on the other side can make them feel more included and engaged in the conversation and ultimately, in the project. Another important thing is being able to bring you dispersed team together every once in a while, allow them to form personal ties and experiences. You should pay close attention to the work hours of your remote office/employees and make sure you’re not privileging your main office in meeting schedules, thus forcing your other team to stay up late.