How to Prepare Your Business for the Unexpected

Are you prepared for the unexpected? As a small business owner, you need to prepare your business for the unexpected. This includes everything from applicants ghosting their interviews, employees quitting without notice, getting sick, and now even the coronavirus. Unfortunately, we have to prepare for everything, including unforeseen events.

Always Be on The Lookout for New Talent

It is best if you continually interview new applicants, even when you are not hiring because you never know when you will need to bring on a new employee. Besides, you never know when you may also find your next rock star.

Always Have A Backup Ready in Case A Worker Calls Our or Quits

For those unexpected times when you need coverage, keep a day labor or temporary employment agency’s number handy. Companies such as Spherion should be able to get you, someone, to help you out of a jam. These types of companies can generally get you a temporary employee the same day. However, depending on the industry that you are in, the temporary help may or may not be helpful. Prepare your business for the unexpected by trying out some temp agencies and bringing on a temp worker for a larger project, so you can find a company that works well with your company before you end up in a jam.

Small Business Answering Services

Answering services and call centers can help keep your office up and running, whether you are a one-person show or have dozens of employees. Most virtual answering services offers plans that range from just a couple of calls a month to hundreds of calls a day. Even if you or your staff answer 99% of your calls, you should have an answering service as a backup for those one percent of the calls that you miss, because every lost call is possibly a lost sale.

If you are considering hiring an answering service, confirm they are prepared for emergencies too. For example, at Answer Aide, we usually work out of our office; however, in case of an emergency, we can allow our employees to work remotely. We also work with another answering service to make sure that our client’s callers always receive prompt and excellent service.

What happens if something happens to you?

As a business owner, you are used to preparing for problems you are used to seeing. However, what happens if you catch the flu, have an accident, or if you just want to get away for a week? Worse yet, what would happen if you were not able to come back to work? Would your business survive or fall apart if you were absent? The  Council for Disability Awareness says that more than a quarter of workers will be out of work for at least a year before they retire because of a disabling condition.

Delegation

If you are not already delegating tasks, this is the first step you should take. It is instrumental that your key employees can do the tasks that you usually take care of daily. For example, if you typically do quality control inspections or audits, have one of your rising stars do some of the checks with you a couple of times this month. Next month assign that employee a few to do on their own. They will then be able to take care of that task, whether you can’t complete it or if you want to make it part of their job responsibility.

Follow-up

As you delegate, you start to get more free time, and after you are sure your employees are doing a great job at the tasks you were doing, you can give them more of those assignments. Just be sure to check-in from time to time to make sure they are keeping up with your standards.

Additional Free Time

The great thing about delegation is that it allows you more free time to do the things you want. If you wish, you can start taking the afternoons off or even become an absentee-owner. However, if you are like most business owners, your goal is probably to scale your business and grow. Therefore, you can use some of your new time to attend conferences and read a book to learn more about your industry. For example, if you don’t spend much time with marketing, you now have the time to learn more about marketing.

The best part about delegation is that it helps prepare your company, in case you suddenly have to take time off from work, but it also gives you more time to grow your business. As you learn new tasks, don’t forget to train and start to delegate those same things to your employees.

Put Systems into Place to Prepare Your Business For The Unexpected

It’s a great time to start documenting tasks while you are training these employees. By having these procedures in writing, it will help your employee remember how to complete these tasks and make training in the future even more straightforward. Additionally, it makes expectations clear and direct.

Review Your Products & Services

Open up those reports and start figuring out which ones are your core services and products. Then figure out which ones you make the least money on, and stop offering those services. Find your top products or services and put your time and energy into those. Sometimes less is more.

Put Away Some Money

Your business is your baby, and like most business owners, you would probably be devastated if something happened to your company. That’s why you should always prepare your business for the unexpected wrenches life throws at us. According to Microsoft, you should keep three to six months of cash in hand in case of an emergency.