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Wellbeing / Health & wellbeing

Small business planning: Are you prepared if you fall sick?

Last time we looked at tips for staying healthy at work. But what happens if you succumb to illness and and are unable to work effectively? This will happen to all of us at some stage so it is important to have some business planning in place.

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A real positive for small business planning in case of sickness is that these plans are also useful in the event that you want to take a break and have that well-deserved holiday.

1. Seek out someone reliable who can take over or at least hold the fort if you have to take some time out. Remember this might be a big task so if possible have a few options.

2. Have a list for your helper(s) with useful contact details for your suppliers and clients i.e. relevant phone, mobile, address, email addresses.

3. Organise a call or answer service to manage your calls, especially if option 1 is not possible. It is important to not miss calls.

4. If you being sick means that deadlines will be missed make sure you get someone to call your clients or suppliers well in advance. You will be surprised how deadlines can move or alternatives can be found.

"Have a friendly competitor who you can outsource emergency work to, ideally under your own banner."

5. Work out the important tasks that would need to be done if you were off sick, and have a plan of action for each of them. This could include reading and responding to emails, taking calls, following up with clients, invoicing, debt collection, paying bills, faxes, sales, scheduling, mail etc. You might find that you will need multiple people to cover different tasks.

Want more articles like this? Check out the health-and-wellbeing section.

6. Don’t overlook a back up strategy for invoicing and chasing debtors. If you are off sick you will need to keep the revenue coming in to cover expenses.

7. Have a friendly competitor who you can outsource emergency work to, ideally under your own banner.

8. Make sure your website is up to date and has plenty of useful information if you need to direct potential clients to your website while you are sick.

9. Have an automated email response that can notify clients and suppliers that you are off sick and who to contact in an emergency, especially if you are unable to respond to emails yourself.

10. Have all your business processes well documented so it is nice and easy for someone else to follow.

11. Make sure that your computer filing system is in order and it is easy for your helper(s) to find any important documents they may need. Also your helper(s) may require passwords to access your systems.

12. Make sure you have all your customers and suppliers phone numbers, including office and mobile, in your mobile phone so you can quickly call and make arrangements if you are sick.

Next time I’ll give some advice on how to get healthy when you’re unwell. Click here for my previous article on tips for staying healthy at work.

Note: The information in this article should not replace the advice of a competent health care or nutrition professional, and it is intended for information purposes only.

Justin Zachan

runs Jazz Design, a digital consultancy that specialises in providing creative thinking to develop innovative online and digital strategies and solutions. Justin also has a strong interest in health and lifestyle.

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