Do you have a plan for your worst case scenarios? Emergencies strike without warning: think of the worst things that could happen to you or your business, and then ask yourself: do you have a plan?
For example, a lady I know has racked up about a month’s worth of vacation time in case she breaks a leg or becomes incapacitated in some way. As a freelancer without the health benefits or security of a salaried position, she uses this time as a buffer. What would happen to your mortgage payments if you or a family member became incapacitated?
Whether you work for yourself or are employed by someone else, you never know what is going to happen from one day to the next. Do you have a nest egg that insures that your rent/mortgage would be paid for at least six months should something happen to you? Do you have the skills for a second career should your current one become obsolete? And I don’t even want to get started on pensions…
The same goes for running a business. You could be running a flower shop and everything is fine, but what happens if there is a blight on roses the week before Mother’s Day? Do you have a backup plan written down and ready to go? If you haven’t already, budget some time to think about your worst-case scenarios. Write down the emergencies that can affect you and your business and try to think of the steps you can take to keep your business (or yourself) more stable. Referring to the flower shop example, perhaps you might have reached out to alternate suppliers or looked into additional flowers to stock for that busy holiday weekend–ideally, you have a buffer that will keep your business secure until sales pick up. Once you have that plan, don’t forget to update it at least every six months to reflect changes in the global economy.
Here are some simple things you can do that will help you keep up and running should a disaster occur to your business:
- Keep surge protectors, backup batteries for computers and a generator stocked. These are three inexpensive investments that can enable you to keep going even when the power is out.
- Owners should also keep copies of important records, including insurance policies, offsite or fireproof safe/safety deposit box.
- Keep a list of all software licenses so that applications can be restored quickly.
- You could also keep copies of your documents scanned and in email.
- Check with your insurance company for guides and suggestions—don´t forget insurance some companies will give a discount if you have a continuity plan.
The hard part is sitting down and planning what you are going to do after that you just have to follow through with your plan. No one wants to be caught without money to keep a roof over your head or be so worried about getting back to work that you go back before you are fully healed which means you end up being sicker in the long run. Take the time out now so that you won’t have to worry later.
**This article has been cross-posted at globalhrblog**