Monday, April 20, 2015

How to save your small business

Risk management isn't just for the big guys. It is even more important for the small business owner so take notes.

The first thing the small business owner has to think about is who can run the company if something happens to the owner?  Pick carefully and make sure they understand what they are getting into!  The next thing to do is put together a binder or excel spreadsheet or some kind of list so the substitute owner has the tools to run the business.  Who are the company's key contacts: bankers, credit card processors, suppliers, customers, lawyer, accountant......  What are their phone numbers and email addresses?  Make sure all these contacts know who you substitute is. It is probably a good idea to have your attorney put together some kind of authorization form so the substitute can act in your stead.

Next, make sure they have all your account information: log ins, user names, passwords, account numbers, etc.  Obviously this information needs to be protected so your identity doesn't get stolen.  Locked in a safe (substitute needs the key or combo) or written in a password protected document (substitute needs the password).

Next, make a list of all the tasks you take care of and when.  Keep a running log every day for a month of what you do and when so the substitute has a timeline to follow. If you have employees, make sure they are aware of your backup plans so they can be of assistance to your substitute.

Finally, have your substitute spend a day or two working with you so they have some hands on experience.  Have him/her read through your instructions to make sure they understand them.

Save your small business: plan for your illness or accident!