If something happened to you, what would happen to your business?
In my VA network, we were recently asked this question, among many others and it really got me thinking. Being a freelancer who usually works from home, I feel that I am pretty safe, but what if I decided to travel? If something happened to me, how would my clients know?
If you run your own business, what steps can you take to ensure your business is handled properly?
First and foremost, there needs to be a list of all your clients, with phone numbers and email addresses, so in your absence, someone handling your affairs can reach out to them.
Special tip – whether you store this information as a hard or digital copy, you need to ensure that this information is stored in a safe, protected place. Hard copies should be stored in a small, household safe, or even a safety deposit box. Digital copies should be encrypted, especially if your computer isn’t.
In the event that you’re incapacitated in some way, someone will need to handle the invoicing part of your business. In the same fashion that you’ve created a client roster, you’ll need to leave detailed instructions for your client invoicing procedures. This includes how to use your financial apps, and where to find the information needed to produce the latest invoices. Going one step further, it’s also smart to leave a contact name for step-by-step help if the person handling your affairs gets stuck.
List of Sites or Applications
Have this list handy so that in your absence, someone can close out all of your accounts. From social media, email marketing or website hosting, you’ll be covered.
Keep a sheet of paper next to you for a few days, and jot down anything you use during the day. This will ensure you produce the most accurate list possible. Store it in a safe place, similar to your client roster and financial information.
Encrypt your computer
Any sensitive information stored on your computer should ALWAYS be encrypted. Even if nothing tragic happens to you, there’s no guarantee that your home won’t get broken into, right? If you’re not sure how to encrypt files or your system, contact a computer store. They can often point you in the right direction for help with this.
Odds and Ends
Consider everything that would need to be wrapped up in the event something happened to you, and ask a trusted person in your life to oversee that it all gets dealt with.
***Please note that business information really needs to be treated with respect and confidentiality. The protection of your business information should be of the utmost importance, so research your storage options very carefully.