Infrastructure is something we all depend on, yet take for granted. Roads, bridges, reservoir dams – without them, we wouldn’t be able to get to work, run errands, or have drinking water.
We never think twice – it’s all just there. We think, “I’ll drop this off at the Post Office, and then pick up some milk on my way home.”
In the U.S., a large portion of our public infrastructure is old and poorly maintained. Some is dangerous.
Unfortunately, inspections, potholes, and painting all cost money. And politicians are not inclined to vote for maintenance because it’s dull, boring, and not sexy. Something new and shiny is a lot more attractive to talk about.
Businesses also have infrastructure – it’s their foundation. And these underpinnings of successful operations need regular attention to keep functioning, supporting, and protecting.
Your business’ infrastructure probably includes buildings, equipment, vehicles, safety policies and training, IT security, legal agreements, HR practices, insurance protections, and loss prevention plans. And just as in the public arena, these business foundations often get a backseat and little attention … until something goes seriously wrong.
Robust, well-functioning infrastructure requires regular maintenance. Safety experts, quality specialists, and risk consultants will all tell you that it costs $6 to $10 to fix what $1 could have prevented.
That means you must:
- Check roofs and downspouts before the rainy season
- Keep contracts and agreements up to date with legal trends
- Upgrade IT software and hardware (including routers and firewalls hidden in your server closet), and heed auto-update notifications
- Ensure data security software, web browsers, and plug-ins are current and patched
- Get regular HR audits for your files, practices, and protocols
- Have your CPA do a mini-audit — especially if you have delegated everything to your bookkeeper or use an outside service
- Re-assess safety, both policies and training
- Consider thorough risk assessments and objective insurance reviews every 3-5 years to avoid gaps and overlaps
These actions – scheduled and regularly implemented – are the lifeblood of your business’ survival.
You need to view them as an investment.
If you have questions or more complex circumstances, don’t hesitate to click reply or give me a call: firstname.lastname@example.org | 510-685-3883. There’s never a charge for brainstorming!