The stomach flu has hit my household. Hard. Luckily I’m not sick but my kids and my mom are.
Needless to say, I’m up to my eyeballs in yuck.
It’s times like these that I am so grateful I do what I do and that I work from home. My kids have been down for days. Imagine if I had to take time off work. I’d probably lose my job.
While my business is transitioning from being a Virtual Assistant to being a coach, I still have a few VIP clients that I service. And I realized something last week. My backup plan no longer works!
My main VA, Debbi, was on vacation. I was in the middle of hiring. I was not prepared.
I made it through a crazy week by myself, relatively unscathed. And I learned a few things about where I need to tighten up in my business. I’d become comfortable in the thought that my VA was always there, never took time off and was there for any emergency that may arise.
I realized it was time to rework my old backup plan. Especially now that I’m coaching…it’s not like Debbi can coach my clients for me.
What goes in a backup plan?
- Create a master list. Somewhere you need a master list of all clients and team members. You need to tell friends, family and/or a trusted team member where it is so in case of emergency, people can be contacted. One of my new VAs has a planner she showed me during our discovery call. In it she has all of her clients, what she does for them, contact info and what she’s currently working on. She updates it regularly. Her friends and family all know where it is and that if something should happen (God forbid!) they can contact her clients.
- Find a backup buddy. It doesn’t have to be someone you hire, but you need a trusted backup partner in case you just can’t work. Life happens. If you are unable to work, you need someone who can step in at a moment’s notice to help out. (Of course you’d pay them for their time if that did happen.) I am the backup buddy for one of my best friends. My main VA is typically mine.
- Have an exit plan in place. No one wants to think about their demise, but face it…you aren’t immortal. (And if you are, we need to talk.) Someone needs to be able to step in and wrap up your business dealings in the event tragedy should happen. If you have PrePaid Legal, they can help you create one. If you don’t have it, you need it and we need to talk!
- Have a file in place for each client. All of my clients have Dropbox folders where I store everything. I also store all logins in my Teamwork in their individual projects. Should something happen to me, my husband or another person can just send that Dropbox folder to the client or a team member. My team members can easily carry on.
- Review regularly! Whether you do it weekly, monthly, quarterly, whatever works for you, your backup plan needs to be reviewed and updated on a regular basis. Be sure to schedule it on your calendar.
Your clients should also have a backup plan in place. As a business owner, that is their responsibility. I realized that I can’t count on Debbi all the time as much as she and I both want that. Things happen. We’ve both been super sick at the same time. We both have families to take care of.
I’d love to hear what’s in your backup plan. Post in the comments below.