Can Your Business Run Without You In Case Of An Emergency?

by Alicia Jay

Many of you are in the same boat as I am. You are the proud solopreneur. You built this business by yourself. You worked hard to get where you are today. However, what would happen if you became very ill tomorrow or had a family emergency and had to step away for a little while? I was thinking about this the other day when reading Pam Lawhorne’s blog. She was away for a few days dealing with a family situation.

business emergency

Who will help your biz in an emergency?

I began to think, “What if something happened to me or one of my family members? What would happen to my business if  I had to step away even for a week or two unexpectedly?” I’ll be honest with you here. I didn’t really have a plan in place for this kind of situation but I began working on it right away. Here are some important things to cover when creating your business emergency plan.

Create and Document Process. It is important to create processes for all of your major tasks. These can be things like how you create a website or record a teleseminar. Begin by writing down the actions you take to complete the task step-by-step. You should do this now even if you are not planning on delegating these tasks to anyone else in the foreseeable future.

Note Important Information. Keep a spreadsheet or some other type of list for important passwords and website login information. It’s also a great idea to have a database of clients, colleagues and vendors. Make sure that someone you trust knows where to find this information in case of an emergency. It could be crucial that someone have this information in case they need to log in to pay a bill or contact a client in your absence.

Have A Back-up Person. None of us like to think of these things, but you should give some consideration to having a discussion with a trusted colleague–or two–about passing your work on to them if there were an emergency. Have the conversation before you really need to so that you won’t be racking your brain at the last minute trying to decide who could help you.

Delegate Now. In order to make sure that your business can still run in your absence, ensure that it’s streamlined while you’re still here. Make a list of all of the things that you do in your business. Then narrow down the few things that you personally HAVE to do yourself in your business. Take the rest of the items and pass them on to a trusted virtual assistant or VA team.

These are just a few of the items that I found most important in creating my business emergency plan. What about you? Have you had to deal with an emergency that took you away from your business? Is there anything that you would add to this list? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

About Alicia Jay


Alicia is a virtual assistant specializing in transcription. She loves to help her clients make the most out of their audio posts, webinars and teleclasses by re-purposing them with transcripts. Her clients include entrepreneurs, business coaches, health and fitness experts and other virtual assistants. She blogs about news in the VA industry as well as business and customer service tips.

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Bill Dorman

Excellent post; when we are talking with our customers one of the things we ask is ‘what happens if you don’t show up tomorrow’? This is leading into them doing some time of ‘disaster’ planning so people know what to do in case something catastrophic does happen.
Bill Dorman recently posted..The change that almost wasn’tMy Profile

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Alicia Jay

Hey Bill!

I figured that if it was something that hardly every crossed my mind I should help to remind other people as well. We should never wait until the emergency to figure out what to do. Thanks for stopping by:)

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Pam Lawhorne

Alicia,

Thanks for the mention and you make some great points! And while I still have a ton on business that requires my attention, this is the reason why I’ve been spending so much time focusing on automating my business.

Having an emergency plan is A MUST for all solopreneurs and anyone who does not have one may quickly find themselves wishing they did!
Pam Lawhorne recently posted..5 Things Every Website Should HaveMy Profile

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Alicia Jay

Hi Pam!

Yes, I agree that automation is key. It will not only save you time but help things to run without your constant supervision. Thanks for the visit!

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Margaret Bradley

Hi Alicia
Well done for highlighting something that we all intend to get round to doing but never seem to get the time/inclination to do so – after all, it’s not going to happen, is it … bad things only happen to others! I can’t emphasise enough how important it is to have one or two back-up VA’s that you truly trust – it was my trusted network of VA’s that got me through my absence from my business back in 2008 – I had to step out for 10 months but happy to say that my clients are still with me and business ran smoothly throughout those ‘dark days’! Don’t be afraid of losing your clients – if you organise your team well enough (and Alicia, you have covered this concisely), they will be bowled over that you are considering their requirements over and above your own problems and will reciprocate your loyalty.

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Alicia Jay

Hi Margaret!

I’m happy to hear that you’re healthy and your business is up and running again! I agree that having a great network of VAs can really be a lifesaver. I’ve found the VA community to be both insightful and helpful. Let’s hope that others learn from your experience. Thanks so much for stopping by!

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Sue Lynn Canfield

Several years ago I suddenly got ill and was in the hospital for 4 months. After that experience I made sure things were in place for emergencies. So when I ended up in the hospital again a couple of years later, everything went very smoothly thanks to my team.
Sue Lynn Canfield recently posted..Q&A: What topics should I write about on my blog?My Profile

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Alicia Jay

Hi Sue!

I’m so sorry to hear of your situation. However, it looks like you learned from it and you’re stronger for it. It’s just another example of why planning is so important. Thanks much for the visit!

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Michelle Dale

Great post Alicia, and loving the new look site!
Michelle Dale recently posted..7 Ways To Make Your Client’s Experience With Your Service Completely Freakin’ AMAZING!My Profile

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Alicia Jay

Thanks so much Michelle!
I’m working on a new look–it’s a work in progress!
However, I’m happy with how it’s coming along.
I’m also going to split up my site to better serve my audience. I’ll let you know about that soon:)

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Madinah

I totally agree. Thank you once again for a great post Alicia. Keep it up!

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