How to Run Your Business When You Are Sick

August 1, 2012 | Business | Beth Schneider

Uuuggg. I'm sick. A summer cold snuck up on and took me down.

Ever been there?

I remember a time back in the early 2000s when my team was "me, myself and I" and I got a horrible cold. I was so sick I could barely get out of bed and of course it came on right in the middle of a crazy week when I had tons of appointments and stuff to get done.

It's never easy being sick...especially when you have a camera crew showing up on your door step for a video shoot. I guess we're going HEAVY on the concealer. Here are some of my tips to run your business when you're not feeling 100%.




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By Beth Schneider, Process Prodigy

I instantly recognized the tickle in my throat that I knew meant bad news. Sure enough, only hours later a Kleenex box was my new best friend and I was chugging orange juice like a marathon runner who'd missed all the water stops. Of course the cold appeared mere days before a video shoot. While I certainly wasn't happy to have a cold, I was more concerned about how the dark circles under my eyes would show on camera than how my business would run while I was desperately trying not hack up a lung.

Everyone gets sick. But not everyone has a plan in place to handle being sick. Here are 5 tips to put in place so things still get done while you're hopped up on Nyquil.

Have a communication tree Who wants to have to make 85 phone calls to cancel or reschedule appointments when you're not feeling good? Have one person who you tell that can spread the news to anyone who needs to know. For example, one email to my awesome Office Manager, Renae and everything is handled. Now, if you don't have an assistant or someone who can be your main contact then find a colleague who can be your back up partner. The two of you should discuss what should happen if you need help and then be available to support each other when the time comes. The key here is to be prepared ahead of time.

Cross train    Now it may not be just you who gets sick. Your VA, your marketing coordinator, your customer service person...guess what they are all human and might find themselves with a bug. Rather than panic that a customer's questions might not get handled, make sure that multiple people know how to handle key pieces of your business. This can be accomplished by developing and documenting clear systems that are easily accessible to the entire team.

You are creating your systems, right? Seriously your systems and operations manual are the key factor in setting up a business that can run whether you are there or not. If you're a little behind on this then you definitely want to be at the next "Double Your Profits, Double Your Time Off Intensive"

Use automation in everyday life Move over boring out of office autoresponder, now there's something meatier. Autoresponders are incredibly powerful and they are often greatly underutilized. Take advantage of this tool and the technology you probably already have. Set up autoresponder series that act as client reminders, referral requests, assignments, etc. What items do you always send your clients? Set up those recurring items as an autoresponder series. Then rain or shine the appropriate information gets sent out regardless of your health status.

Don't wait until the last minute
Okay, I'm not trying to be your mother here. But you know if you have the same deadline to write a script for a big event, write copy for a new program, hire a new VA and get your taxes done're going to get sick. It's just Murphy's law. So don't give yourself the same deadline for EVERYTHING. Spread things out and attack projects in small pieces. This way if you fall behind it's only one small piece...not the entire project. Plus build in a little extra buffer time to your deadline so that if/when you get behind for any reason you've already given yourself the gift of time to catch up.

Know when to suck it up and when to go to bed     What's that line, "you've got to know when to hold 'em and when to fold 'em." Same thing when you're running a fever. Sometimes a great opportunity is staring you in the face and you'd be a fool to miss it. If it has to be you preparing and taking advantage of that opportunity...then do it. However, I often see people dragging themselves out of a sick bed to do things that can either be rescheduled, delegated to someone else or put off to a time when your brain is clearer. Ask yourself, "if I don't personally do this will this tremendously effect the financial future of the business?" If the answer is no, then delegate it or put it off. You're better off taking time to get better so you can work on all four (or eight) cylinders.

And on that note. I'm going back to bed.


© 2012 Beth Schneider, Process Prodigy, Inc.

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