.While we all hope that nothing untoward will happen to our business, sometimes things just happen. It is important to plan how you will continue the business in the event that something untoward occurs.
The government website Ready.gov offers a number of suggestions on how you can prepare your business for emergencies:
- Carefully assess how your company functions, both internally and externally, to determine which staff, materials, procedures and equipment are absolutely necessary to keep the business operating.
- Include emergency payroll, expedited financial decision-making and accounting systems to track and document costs in the event of a disaster.
- Establish procedures for succession of management. Include at least one person who is not at the company headquarters, if applicable.
- Identify your suppliers, shippers, resources and other businesses you must interact with on a daily basis.
- Plan what you will do if your building, plant or store is not accessible. This type of planning is often referred to as a continuity of operations plan, or COOP, and includes all facets of your business.
- Plan for payroll continuity.
- Decide who should participate in putting together your emergency plan.
- Define crisis management procedures and individual responsibilities in advance.
- Coordinate with others.
- Review your emergency plans annually. Just as your business changes over time, so do your preparedness needs. When you hire new employees or when there are changes in how your company functions, you should update your plans and inform your people.
But what if the emergency pertains to YOU? You could get very ill and unable to work, or worse, even die. What will happen to the business, more so if this is a one-person business where you are the only player?
From the article “Do You Have a Backup Plan for Your Home Business in Case of Emergency?” , here are some ideas to consider in the event that you are unable to continue working on your business:
- Educate a family member about your business.
- If not family, designate a person you trust.
- Document everything you can about the business.
- Backup your documents.
- Automate as much as you can about your business.
- Have a buy-sell agreement.
- Invest in a life insurance.
- Assess your legal structure.
- Consult a lawyer.
- Grow the business.