You have worked very hard to get your business where it is today. It took time, sweat and tears but you are now holding your own. You’re not just treading water anymore, your swimming! If this is you, congratulations!! After all the hard work you put in, wouldn’t it be a shame if some unforeseen event kept you from running your business even temporarily? Even a short and brief emergency that caused you to stop working for a week could destroy everything you worked for. The best way to avoid this nightmare situation is to have a business backup plan. What if you wanted to take a vacation with your family? Do you have a plan in place so you can do this? This is something that many business owners must address.
So what is a business backup plan? Think of it like a seat belt, or a motorcycle helmet. You really don’t want to need it, but you will be very happy when it saves you from a major setback. In short, a business backup plan is a contingency plan that you have in place to deal with either planed or unforeseen events that may cause you to stop working. Obviously, you will need someone to fill in for you while you are away. Having a trusted business colleague that understands your business and how to temporarily run it is ideal. One of the best choices is to befriend one of your colleagues early on. If they are in the same or a similar industry, it will be much easier for them to fill in. Another good choice is to have a trusted and competent subcontractor help with the task. If you outsource work to them early on before you take leave, it will be very easy for them to fill in. They will be used to working on or in your business so filling in will be easy. You should take some time before you leave to brief your replacement on every last detail they need to understand. Having a written policies and procedures manual for this person to follow is the key to the success of your backup plan. The plan you give them should provide them important information regarding your business and how to manage it for a short time while you are gone. Things that should be included in this plan are usernames and passwords, client information including all tasks that you do for each of your clients. The last thing that you want is for them to need to contact you because you didn’t give them everything they required to run your company.
The circumstances for needing a backup plan can vary widely. Here are some of them:
An illness: This is never a pleasant experience and it’s typically unexpected so it’s very important to have a plan already in place so you are not scrambling at the last minute.
A pregnancy: This one is much easier because in most cases you only need to have a replacement for the delivery and perhaps for a short time afterwards. Because of the nature of pregnancy, you will have ample time to find and prepare someone.
A vacation: This should be an easy event to handle. You have no excuse to not plan for this as most vacations are not a last minute decision. Take time to plan your vacation, and take time to find and prepare a substitute as well.
A death in your family: Dealing with a family member passing if never easy and you don’t need to compound the grief by being unprepared. This will give you the time you need to grieve without feeling the added pressure of your business suffering.