We hear a lot about preparing our families and our homes for an emergency, but we don’t hear as much about preparing our businesses for an emergency. It’s vital that we’re prepared, especially if we own a home business. September is National Preparedness Month, and it’s a good time to prepare your home business for an emergency – before it’s too late. The first thing we’re going to tackle in order to prepare is our business systems!This post may contain affiliate links. For more information, please see my Policies.
Prepare Your Home Business for an Emergency with Business Systems
Not a great picture, but it gives you an idea of what we were seeing.
In 2013 the Colorado front range was struck by a severe flood. Water stretched for 200 miles north and south and affected 17 out of the 64 counties in the state.
And we were smack in the middle of it.
Thankfully, we live up on a hill, so our house and our well-being wasn’t threatened, but for 3 days we were completely cut off from the outside world. We couldn’t get out of our neighborhood. We had no electricity and no internet connection.
Not a problem normally, other than dealing with some boredom, but….
It’s a much larger challenge for a business owner who runs an at-home business online.
During this experience I learned quickly that when it came to my home business, I was vastly unprepared for any kind of emergency.
September is National Preparedness Month, so we’re going to jump on board, so that you prepare your home business for an emergency.
We’re going to create and write down systems (in case we have to hand off duties for awhile), develop backup plans, and create a Home Business Grab & Go Binder (just like the one you may have for your home and family).
Business Systems: The What, Why, and How
In order to prepare our home businesses for an emergency, we’re going to start by writing down all of our business systems, in case we have to hand off daily duties for a short time during an emergency.
Business systems are the tasks or routines that you complete regularly in your home business.
Start by making a list of the different tasks you complete for your home business on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis.
Also include any forms, documents, or other supplies that are required.
Then, over the following month, any time you complete that task, record every single step required to complete that system.
*Make sure your recorded systems are very specific, so that another person who’s completely unfamiliar with this process could have the steps in hand and follow through, in case you aren’t able to complete the tasks.
Have the system available in printed form and as an electronic document, in case you personally hand off duties or if you need to email the systems.
Setting up business systems can also help you become more efficient! If you complete regular tasks in the same way every time, you will get it done faster and with less stress.
These systems will come in handy if you hire a VA, too! 🙂
My Business Systems
These are the tasks that I complete on a regular basis and for which I’ll be creating systems:
- Daily Client-Specific Work (This encompasses about 15 different systems. See image above.)
- Monthly Metrics Compiling
Over the following 3-4 months, I’ll also be completing systems for these tasks, which aren’t as high of a priority and are often scheduled ahead of time.
- Facebook marketing for Calyx and Corolla
- Calyx and Corolla Pinterest Marketing
Business Systems: The Who
Make a list of 4-5 people that could fill in for you in case of an emergency. It’s best if they are located in a different geographical area, so they aren’t dealing with the same emergency you are in the case of flooding, hurricanes, tornadoes, etc.
If you can’t think of anyone, do a little research or ask your colleagues. Some Virtual Assistants might be willing to take on your regular tasks for a short period of time. Don’t hesitate to reach out to a few who come highly recommended.
Make sure to reach out and talk with these people BEFORE an emergency strikes! Make sure they’re willing to fill in for you, what their rate might be, how you’ll communicate, etc.
Bonus Tip: I keep a little extra money in my business savings account, so that I can compensate the person I ask to fill in for me.
And that’s how to create business systems to prepare your home business for an emergency!
It’s not a difficult process, but it can be time consuming. However, you’ll gain that time and energy back in stress and time saved during an emergency.
The Schedule for the Month
This post is part of a series of posts on how to prepare your home business for an emergency. Here are the other posts in the series:
Creating Vital Business Systems
Stay tuned for these upcoming posts:
Developing a Back Up Plan & Important Tech Gear
Mobile Office Preparedness
Let’s prepare and protect our home businesses during an emergency!