Do you own a business? Are you a key employee in a business? Have you thought about what would happen, if something unexpectedly happened to you or one of your key employees?
At My Life & Wishes we are all about planning. And that includes planning not only for your personal life but for your business too!
There’s no doubt that todays’ technology makes our lives so much easier. There’s also no doubt how complex it makes it for family and business associates, to find and access information after we die. Business associates end up on a path of endless scavenger hunts, in hopes to locate needed information to keep the business running!
We recently learned of a business owner unexpectedly passing away. Unfortunately, this event left his employees scrambling. There was no access to email, calendars, systems and accounting. Like our personal lives, we must plan for our business too, to avoid the complexities technology creates in our everyday working lives.
This is especially important for small businesses. There may be only one or two key people that have access to key functions of the operation. If there is a marketing employee, many times that person is the only one with access to design programs, lists and communication processes. Many times one person handles the payroll and accounting functions. If either of these key employees were suddenly gone, what would happen? Would someone else have the information to step in and continue these critical functions with no interruption? AND, would they have the logins, passwords, and access to these programs and systems?
If you are a business owner or key employee, we suggest you consider:
- What information do only I have that others might need if I am suddenly incapacitated?
- What “keys” do I hold that someone will need if I were unexpectedly gone or unable to communicate?
- What access would I need if my Marketing or Payroll or IT employee were suddenly gone?
- What information does your partner(s) or associates have that you would need access to, if they suddenly didn’t show up for work?
Further, if you or a key employee were suddenly out;
- Would your employees know what to do?
- Where is the communication/plan?
- Would your employees know where to go or how to access needed information?
One solution is to create Job Aids. Job Aids are scripts, manuals or devices that help people complete tasks. These can be critical in helping others step in, to complete key roles and processes. Examples of Job Aids include;
- Paper handouts
- Instructional lists
- Cheat sheets
Performance support materials should also be made accessible. Such as; instruction manuals, support contacts and location and access to programs and systems.
Our co-founder Jonathan Braddock created a Business Planning checklist. Click here to download his proprietary checklist>>
He created this to help business owners think through what information needs to be shared in the event of an emergency. Once you’ve completed your planning, store it in a secure environment, where key employees will have access to it in an emergency.
In addition to creating a plan to continue day-to-day operations, a business should also have a written Business Succession Plan. If your business doesn’t have one, here are the key items for consideration;
- Identify a timeline of succession. This might be retirement, incapacity or death.
- Determine a successor. This might be a business partner, associate or family member.
- Formalize standard operating procedures. This will help in the transition of the business.
- Identify or create funding options. Does insurance need to be purchased for the transfer or sale of the business?
Having been a business owner for most of his working career, Jon knows the importance of planning. He’s given many speeches and has been featured on podcasts and radio shows. He is an expert on helping individuals as well as business’s plan for and deal with death in todays digital age. For more information on Jon’s speaking topics go to; https://www.jonathanbraddock.com/speaker.html