It happens to everyone at some point. You get sick, someone in your family gets sick, you have a power failure, a broken computer, or something completely unexpected throws you for a loop and puts you behind.
Last week was a terribly sad week for my husband and me. We lost our beloved pet unexpectedly, and were certainly not prepared to say goodbye to her. And as it most likely would for anyone else, this unexpected event caused a bit of disruption in my daily routine and business.
Fortunately, this was not a major crisis or illness that prevented me from managing my own business for a long period of time. But had it been, I would have had peace of mind knowing my business is built on solid systems, and supported by very capable team members able to step in and take care of business.
If and when things like this do happen, it’s a tremendous blessing to know I have people in my corner who have access to the back end of my business … my calendar, login information, files and anything else needed to keep my business humming along like it should when my heart and brain are elsewhere. If you’re in business for yourself, I sincerely urge you to have systems in place for when the unexpected happens to you; because it will happen. I certainly hope you never have to experience anything tragic; but none of us is immune from the odd curve ball thrown by life. The following are some things you should consider documenting and systematizing so you can rest easy when life “happens” and takes you out of your business for a period of time.
Email. In today’s virtual world, all business owners rely on email for one thing or another. If you’re going to be away, you need to have someone responsible for managing this while you’re away. This can be as simple as giving a trusted friend or team member access to your Gmail account or web mail. Depending on how long you might be out of commission, you might want to have a team member monitoring and responding to important email, and an “out of the office” autoresponder in place to let people know you’re away, and who else they can contact. Using Outlook or another computer-based email system? Then you might consider setting up a remote access program like LogMeIn so someone else can monitor your email for you.
Social Media. Consider adding an admin person to your Hootsuite account (or whatever scheduling app you use) and Facebook page so if something happens to take you away from your business, your social media activity can still remain active and not take a huge hit.
Blog. Make sure you have a backup or someone with access to your blog to step in and cover for you. Having a few backup articles a team member can access and publish while you’re away will ensure your blog continues to have fresh content.
Calendar. Using a shared calendar like Google can be real life-saver! Knowing you’ve got someone on hand to monitor your calendar and reschedule any appointments impacted by your time away can be a huge stress relief!
Project management. All of my clients and team members are in Basecamp, the project management tool we use to keep track of our client projects. All of the project and task details for whatever we are doing with each client, our milestones and deadlines, as well as important files are documented in the system so it’s accessible by everyone involved. Having a project management system in place keeps everything everyone needs to know about what’s going on with a client in one central location to ensure continuity, as well as the ability for your team to continue providing excellent service in your absence.A project management system keeps everything in one central location to ensure continuity.Click To Tweet
These are just a few of the areas we have systems in place for BizEase Support Solutions. We love putting systems in place, so it only makes sense that we would have a great one for ourselves. These systems can be as simple or as detailed as you need them to be. Whether you’re setting up systems to handle tasks and services on a daily basis, or systems in the background to handle something out of the ordinary, it’s always a good idea to have them in place.
And heck, you might even want to take an extended vacation from time to time … off-grid and off-line!
Do you have any questions about how to systematize your business?