Entrepreneurship is as hot of a career choice as zombies are hot on the big screen and television. Is it a coincidence? No, it’s not, it’s a far-fetched connection I’m forcing to make for an entertaining article and to cover some obvious risks within your business and how to minimize them as we get close to Halloween. While a bit ridiculous, there are still lessons to learn that you can apply to your business.
Now onto comparing small business risks with walking blood-thirsty stiffs! Here are the five types of zombies that may be lurking in your business.
- Tax Zombie
From beneath piles of crumpled up receipts and unorganized file cabinets, the tax zombie is feeding off of small mistakes and the inability to stay on top of entries and reconciliations. This special breed of zombie can be locked away for months, but grows stronger and stronger through the year, finally coming out to cause destruction after the first of January.
The tax zombie causes lots of stress and anxiety, takes up your time, and in severe cases, can summon their more powerful allies — zombies from the IRS.
How to Avoid: Develop a system for capturing and recording activity regularly and have a firm understanding of what’s required of your business. For extra firepower, consider hiring a tax zombie killing specialist — an accountant, bookkeeper, or virtual team like Kahuna Accounting.
- Stagnation Zombie
The stagnation zombie disguises their efforts to slow and stop growth as busywork. Instead of being able to focus on the long-term growth of your business, this zombie keeps putting extra work on your plate to keep you in a place of stagnation. This zombie inflicts an annoying and long-term pain, but it quietly does damage as your business suffers.
How to Avoid: Delegate tasks to focus on important aspects of your business, and to plan for the future. Have other people within your business handle your busywork, or work with freelancers or virtual teams to take care of it.
- Cash Zombie
This is the most dangerous zombie of all. A single meeting can signal the end of your business.
The cash zombie shows up when you start to run out of it and he’s partially invisible, meaning he can hide right in front of your face without you being aware of his presence.
How to Avoid: The cash zombie’s invisibility vanishes with the help of a properly managed cash flow statement. Master your cash flow to understand how your business’ transactions impact your flow and how you’ll be able to pay expenses and use cash to grow your business.
- Murphy’s Zombie
“Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong” states Murphy’s Law. Murphy’s zombie appears out of nowhere, but will attack parts of your business that have not been properly addressed. It’s a versatile and unpredictable zombie, but there are preventative measures you can take to shield you and your business.
How to Avoid: If you don’t want to get wet, you carry an umbrella. If you don’t want things to go wrong in your business, plan ahead and prepare like no other business does.
- Loved One Zombie
We keep those we love close to our side and trust them with nearly anything. This includes trusting them with things they aren’t trained to help with. Their “help” can quickly turn into hurt.
Within the accounting side of small business, many entrepreneurs we work with turn to their spouse to handle parts of their business that have become too time consuming for just one person to handle. We take over the bookkeeping duties from many wives and husbands, but many of these situations have gone bad long before they seek our help.
How to Avoid: If you have a loved one helping out with your business, make sure they are handling tasks they are skilled in and have an interest in doing. Forcing them to take on tasks you don’t want to do can result in a zombie that can do significant harm to your business.
How to Zombie-Proof Your Business
The “zombies” waiting to come up and tear apart your business are all things that you can plan ahead to prevent. To build a zombie-proof fortress for your business, you need to put processes in place to handle key activities, including bookkeeping, financial planning, taxes, and how to scale (grow) your business.
You can never be over-prepared and over-plan for your business. The time and effort you put into creating and perfecting processes will pay future dividends and prevent zombies from taking a bite out of the company you’ve worked hard to build.