Continuity Planning - your free insurance policy
Sorry to talk about this, but do you know what would happen to your business if you were to suddenly be unavailable? Or if a disaster struck and you were temporarily unable to continue trading for some reason?
Have you thought about who would keep it running or let your lovely customers know of interruption to your otherwise wonderful service?
Whether your business is something you do for fun, or your only source of income – you need to have a plan in place for an emergency situation. There is so much information in your head about which is the best type of card for printing your new designs on, how to make those signature ice pops, and what the password to your laptop is – but if (sorry again) something were to happen that meant you couldn’t ensure that it all kept running smoothly, then someone should be able to step in and keep your business functioning normally, or just put an out of office on your email & close your Etsy shop for a while.
This is where a continuity plan comes into place. This isn’t really an accountant’s job to advise on – but as I’m writing my own plan and have experience in producing them for businesses great and small, then I thought it was worth a mention.
Things you need to consider are:
· Can things carry on without you?
o If yes, how will that happen?
o If no, who will alert your customers or clients?
· Does someone know how to do what you do, what your passwords are, what your procedures are, where everything is?
· And much, much more
A continuity plan is an insurance policy – it needs to be written with the view that a complete stranger could step in and do what needs to be done effectively and smoothly. It may seem a bit OTT, but if it helps to keep your business going then it’s worth every second you spend on it.
There are so many different things that need to be included, and these vary greatly from one type of business to the next, but I largely view them as an idiot’s guide to how to run your business. It’s not all about something happening to you, it could be a flood damaging your stock, a cyber attack on your laptop, or your toddler ‘hiding’ your van keys down the outside drain as you’re about to set off to a trade fair. You plan for the worst but hope for the best!
Also, much of the plan can double us as a training manual should you need to enlist some help with your business at any point, so it’s really doing two jobs at once, and who doesn’t like a good 2 for 1?
I don’t profess to be an expert in this kind of thing … but I can give advice based on plans I’ve done before if you need it.
Please contact me if you have questions or comments: SAY HELLO