Nobody’s sure of what the future brings. This is why preparation is very important to survival. For businesses, this means developing a plan and being ready to take on short term 2nd mortgages when necessary, so they can continue with their operations despite late-paying or lost clients, cash flow issues, product recalls or legal disputes.

There are essential steps that a business needs to do to protect themselves from such circumstances, and these are among the most important:

1. Drawing up a financial forecast

All businesses need a financial forecast. This is essential in providing the business an estimate of their projected expenses and income. With a forecast, the business can gain better control of their finances and get insight on whether or not they need additional finances. A good financial forecast will help reduce the risk of experiencing financial problems.

2. Readying an emergency fund

Whether or not the financial forecast shows that additional income is needed by the business, an emergency fund should be prepared. This is equivalent to emergency savings for individuals. Prepare for three to six months’ worth of business operating costs that include employee payroll, petty cash and marketing expenses.

3. Designing an emergency plan

A company must already know what it needs to do during a financial meltdown before it even happens. Draft an emergency plan detailing what actions need to be made when this unfortunate situation happens. A business may need to cut costs, reduce employee hours, lay off some employees, and get caveat loans. Detail all these into the company’s plan B for when things go financially awry.

4. Acting quickly

When the business experiences a slight slowdown, immediately implement measures to reduce business costs and act quickly to prevent total financial ruin. The best way to survive a financial problem is by quickly acting on an issue before it complicates. One way to quickly remedy occasional cash flow issues is by getting short term business loans.

Being one step ahead can prove to be very beneficial, especially in business. When it comes to money matters, preparation can draw the line between financial success and financial ruin. The latter can be prevented by following the four steps above.