How To Be Successful Without ‘Blowing A Fuse’

There I stood, in a pair of Tartan trousers, holding a fire extinguisher … next to me, resplendent in his kilt, was one of my closest friends, also holding a fire extinguisher … we were both poised, ready to leap into action  – all because our ‘Burns Supper’ had just taken on a whole new meaning…

The day, of course, had started in much calmer fashion – I made short work of the almost obligatory huge breakfast that greeted my arrival North of the Border for a special ‘Burns Supper’ with my good friend Ali Campbell, and together we set about adding some extra illumination to the festivities…

Ali now lives in the beautiful Scottish countryside, nestled quite a way away from even the nearest streetlight, and since moving in he has had to have much work done to bring the property up to the 20th, let alone 21st Century, but one of the things still on the to do list was a particularly aged fuse box, last maintained by a previous owner with something of a blind spot when it came to putting in the right fuses…

This error might never have been exposed, if Ali had not connected up a great many heaters to keep his guests warm … and (egged on by my good self of course) a sound system you would normally associate with the O2 arena – but this, surprisingly, was not when the fire started…

There were enough flickering lights and sparks to make you believe you were in a mad scientist’s lab – and with a rather spectacular ‘bang’ – the fuse blew. It was replaced with one of like value, and we went about our business, not knowing that the wiring was now coping with a load much, much, greater than it was built to deal with … and yes, this was when the fire started…

Of course we saved the day (and had quite a lot of fun doing it), and once the amperage error had been rectified we were free to spend the evening with more friends, speeches, ‘The Address to the Haggis, various toasts, Snooker and Scotch, rounded off (rather excellently I thought) off by a few words from a ‘guest speaker’, one of the ‘Auld’ enemy … yours truly 😉

There is, of course, much we can carry over to our own situations from such events…

Firstly, always know the breaking point of any system or process you have in place. Naturally, building something that operates effectively no matter what happens would be very useful indeed, but systems that work in extreme circumstances are often not cost effective the rest of the time. (For instance, a bar that had ‘Saturday Night’ staffing level every night, just in case there was a ‘bit of a rush’ are probably wasting resources 6 nights out of 7).

Secondly, if you can, double check that what you are doing is correct, and that you are not merely repeating what the chap before you did … as there’s always a chance the chap before you was an absolute buffoon.

Thirdly, ensure you have a safety measure, a ‘plan B’ in place for those extreme circumstances, even if they might seem unlikely (like making sure you have fire extinguishers to hand even if everyone else thinks the entire country is too damp for anything to catch alight before mid May).

After all, you don’t want your business to be paying out for all sorts of tools that you don’t necessarily need – but you do need to find a way to cope with an unexpected but very welcome surge in orders.

It needn’t be complicated, you could train a family member to help out when you get a peak in your business, or have a virtual assistant ‘on demand’   to carry on processing orders or managing your helpdesk/emails while you take a well earned breather. Either way, you need to make sure that you can make the most of it all … and not blow a fuse.

Until Next Time,
Tim Sig
Tim Lowe
Publisher, Tim’s Business LoweDown

 

Tim Lowe