Just before my lovely holiday to Disneyland Paris (another story!), I was really poorly and had to take some time off and slow down a bit. More recently friends of mine have been caught up in the earthquake in Nepal, they are luckily safe and well but it could so easily be a different story.
If you were to be unwell, delayed returning from a holiday or if one of your employees suddenly left the company how easily would someone else or yourself be able to pick up the reins and get on with the work that needed to be done?
I have worked for employers in the past where someone has left suddenly and no one really knew the processes that were followed for their role. This meant that picking up their work was incredibly difficult and used up unnecessary resources whilst others figured out how things had been done.
- What are the main risks to my business?
- What are the essential day to day processes?
- How much of these day to day processes are documented?
- How much of your work could be picked up by someone if you weren’t there to do it?
- For those of you with employees could you cope if one of them left suddenly?
- How much additional resource would you need to invest in both time and money to bring others up to speed so that day to day tasks could be completed to the same high standard?
Time for action
Whilst I have my processes documented, I realised that they are all saved on my laptop and no one but me knows the password! I needed to do something about this and so have begun to develop a contingency plan for my business which includes the following things:
- Names and contact numbers for my clients
- Details of my processes
- How to log into my laptop
Of course I don’t want this information available publicly so it has been put in a secure location that myself and my husband can access.
My next step to properly risk assess my business so that I can develop a more robust contingency plan going forward.
Over to you…
It is so important to ensure that you know your business, its processes and how to locate a process should you need it. You don’t have to do everything in your business but you should know how to do everything (or at least where to find the instructions).
None of us know what is around the corner, so it is worth spending some time now to ensure your customers/clients can be assured of the best possible service even if you aren’t available.
Let me know how you get on developing your contingency plans.