Unlike full-time employment, many small business owners do not have the luxury of calling in sick as their business operations depend on their presence. Some emergency planning ahead of time will ease the anxiety when life happens and you need time off work.
1. Have someone (or several people) who you can rely on to step up and take over when you are away from work.
2. Create a manual of tasks that need to be done daily, weekly, even monthly, so someone else is able to attend to your business and keep it afloat for the period of time you are away. The list could look like this:
- Daily: answer phone calls, reply to emails, sort mail, follow up with clients, etc.
- Weekly: invoice clients, debt collection, pay bills, etc.
- Monthly: balance cheque book, sales review, etc.
3. It may be helpful to document each business process if it is not self-explanatory.
4. Compile all the contact information of your clients, suppliers, and affiliates.
5. Have steps in place to inform your clients or suppliers who are expecting deliverables in the case of your absence. It could be automated email or voice response. If there are deadlines for your business, make sure someone is calling the appropriate parties to re-negotiate the timelines.
6. Make sure your website or business pamphlets have up-to-date information to guide your potential clients so they can easily be redirected in your absence.
The better you plan for rainy days, the less stressed you will feel.