Anyone can run a business during good times.

When you are making money, it’s easy to overlook some of the deeper issues that are lying beneath the surface just waiting for an excuse to move to the top of your business’s list of challenges and create havoc.

Paying attention, during good times and bad times to these eight proven concepts will help your business weather future economic storms and make sure the next one won’t hit you so hard.

1.    Reconnect to every single employee and ask them what you can do for them. Find out what their biggest challenges are and innovate ways to help them address those challenges.

2.    Identify and start tracking three critical financial indicators in order to stay ahead of potential problems.

3.    Identify what is keeping your operation from being as flexible as it once was. Today you have to be able to respond to customer needs quickly and efficiently. If that isn’t happening, fix it.

4.    Find hidden pockets where profit is hiding.  Examine every aspect of your business with new eyes – to find those new eyes, tap into the intelligence that resides in your employees and find out what they see.

5.    Look inward. Examine your own leadership skills. Now isn’t the time to gloss over your weaknesses. Now is the time to reach deep inside and ask what other skills you can learn that will help your operations prosper.

6.    Assess your team. Not every person is a fit. Release the ones that need to move on and open the door to find new talent, new perspective, new ideas and new blood.

7.    What is your communication plan? If you don’t have one you better believe that there are vast information voids in your operations and your employees are filling up those information voids with negative inputs. Start communicating your vision, your plan and be aggressive about telling your employees what they need to know.

8.    Look outward. Who can help you get a better understanding of how to manage your challenges? There are experts who can bring clarity, who can help you look ahead because they have been in your shoes. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

Growing a business is hard work. It’s my belief that by focusing on the right things at the right time, business owner’s  that have built their success on strong principles, customer-centered products and services and a belief in the people they employ will come out stronger every time.