As entrepreneurs we are use to doing everything because in the beginning there wasn’t anyone else. As they say, old habits are hard to break so when a staff member gets sick or overwhelmed, we’re usually the first ones to jump in and cover the situation. But who covers for you when you get sick? Who’s got your back?
I know we think we’re superhuman, and sometimes we really are, but most of the time we’re just frail human beings just like everyone else and we need to seriously consider a contingency plan. How would your business operate if you we’re sidelined for a week or even worse a couple of months?
Now chances are no one employee can wear all your hats, but chances are if properly allocated across a few employees you would most likely cover 70-80% of your critical duties and would allow your company to continue to function if your absence was more than just a couple of days.
So where do you begin? Ideally look for those task that can be easily transitioned like staff or project scheduling. Who does the invoicing? If you train someone else as a back up, your cash flow won’t be terribly disrupted while you’re benched. Is quality control part of your oversight? Again, train someone because you can’t afford to have completed orders sitting on the floor and missing deadlines.
The thing is, you’re not invincible and you may never be faced with a time out but it’s no different than any other emergency plan you have in place. You don’t need it, until you need it
The truly great thing about this exercise is that you may discover that your staff may be far more capable than you gave them credit and you just might start down the road of delegating more and more tasks and really free yourself from the day to day running of your business.
One mandate I had at my company was that all positions and functions had a trained backup, including me.
I’m Greg Weatherdon and this has been your Small Business Minute.
Copyright © Greg Weatherdon 2016
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