general storeWe tend to forget that business existed before computers. Accounting, inventory, sales, etc. were all done with a pen and paper. I grew up in such a business. My grandmother ran a retail store. Not only didn’t she have a computer, she didn’t have a cash register. She ran all sales with a receipt book and a pen. Without a computer, she knew exactly what she had in stock, where every piece of inventory was and what it cost.

Did she have everything memorized? Of course not. The store was arranged with a system so she could locate anything quickly. Her sales receipts and inventory forms were filed so she could lay her hands on anything she needed on a monument’s notice. She had a process for everything. These process were repeated daily, weekly, monthly or annually, depending on when it was needed. Those processes kept the business running for over 70 years without any of the modern tools we take for granted.

What happens to your business if your computer crashes? What happens when the power goes out? Can you keep your business going? Having the right processes in place can keep you going through adversity and make like easy during successful times. Don’t make your processes dependent on any one piece of equipment. Make sure you have a back up plan. When things get difficult, think what a business would have done before computers.