Article by Phil Spensieri, TAB York Region
If there’s ever an emergency, and you need to take a leave of absence, your business must continue to be “business as usual”. In order to delegate your responsibilities to available team members, it can be helpful to have a contingency plan in place in the event of your sudden absence.
Here are 3 tips that I’ve found helpful in developing a contingency plan for small business owners.
- Have all processes in place
When developing your small business, it’s important that all of your employees know exactly what is expected of them in their roles. A process will help outline the specific responsibilities of each employee, how these responsibilities need to be carried out, and what needs to happen in the event that these employees are not able to carry out their role.
The processes outlined for Human Resources, Accounting, Marketing, Project Management, and Business Development will help every person in your business be aware of what needs to be accomplished in the event of a business owner’s absence. This will help the business run more smoothly, and sustain a level of profitability, should the business owner’s absence be extended.
When a business owner is away, employees may find that responsibilities begin to pile up. This can be challenging for many employees to tackle, especially when they are dealing with their own workload in conjunction with new tasks. For this reason, I find it highly beneficial to create a master list of priorities so that everyone within your business knows what needs to happen first and foremost.
Prioritising will ensure that all tasks are completed promptly and increase the likelihood of sustaining profitability in the business owner’s absence. With your company’s goals and visions in mind, your business can continue to thrive, despite any setbacks.
- Delegate responsibilities, not tasks
While developing your processes, it can be helpful to delegate specific responsibilities to individual employees, as opposed to dividing tasks. For example, in the case of a business owner’s absence, I encourage business owners to task daily responsibilities to employees capable of managing the new workload, as well as managing the daily actions of the other employees.
By giving employees the responsibility of overseeing an entire project, you empower them to discover their own initiatives, ignite their best efforts, and boost their confidence as a valuable member of your team.
In my experience as a coach and mentor, I’ve seen how not having a contingency plan can affect small business owners and their company as a whole. Although you may be able to let your employees know about planned absences, such as vacation time, you will need to have a plan in place for emergencies. This will ensure that your business will run as smoothly as possible, and encourage your employees to remain motivated during your absence.
If you’re looking to create a contingency plan for your business, and require one-on-one coach and peer advice, become part of a TAB board today.