There are hundreds of thousands of very small businesses in our Nation, those that are a one person shop. Many of these small firms are very successful and the entire operation revolves around one person, the owner. For this sizr firm, a good business plan not only includes the usual, budgeting, marketing, etc, but also a what if I can’t work for three to four weeks.
Missing work can happen to anyone; about a year ago I went in for a routing physical, was feeling great. The result of the examination was surgery with an 8 day hospital stay and a three week, no work recovery. Fortunately I have a team that was able to continue my business and while I did not go to work, I was able to talk to my team during the entire recovery period.
Most one person firms do not have a contingency plan for an extended absence. Many owners tell me that they would have to shut their business, or it would take them months to recover financial from such an occurrence.
Now, this week, is the time to develop a plan for such an emergency. the following are a few suggestions:
- Develop a buddy system: work with another small firm that does work similar to yours. Meet with the owner and suggest a mutual back up plan in case of an emergency. Take time to become familiar with the other operation and likewise they should become familiar with yours. This also works when you are on vacation.
- Make sure that you have written instructions for family members as to which clients to contact in case of an emergency.
- Your coach/mentor is another person to consider as a back up. Set up an emergency plan with them.
- If your business support group is active, they can all work together to cover during your absence.
In my Be Prepared Book ( available at www.thebepreparedbook.com or by e-mailing me at www.nickpetra.com) I have a section for this emergency and also one in case of a death of a business owner. In many cases, the survival of the business is dependent upon a back up during an extended absence. Being prepared for the death of a small business owner, will give peace of mind to family members as well as your clients.
Take time out this week to work with your coach/mentor and set up this vital piece in your business plan.
We cannot direct the wind, but we can adjust the sails.