I know… it’s been a while since you’ve heard from me. Usually, entrepreneurs hit the New Year with energy, a solid plan and great intentions, and it takes until mid-April before things start to go off the rails.
Hurray for me! I got the off-the-rails thing out of the way early this year!
On January 9, my ‘not quite a spring chicken’ Mom broke her hip. This resulted in – for her: a half-hip replacement, surgery, five days in a hospital in Boston and another two weeks in inpatient rehab. For me: a full brain of worry, becoming my Dad’s chauffeur, daily visits and three weeks of navigating brutal Boston traffic.
Then, towards the end of Mom’s time in rehab, I contracted an ugly dose of bronchitis which knocked me on my keester for 10 days. A fine kettle of fish indeed. Bottomline, it kicked my grand plan for January and February to the curb in favor of Plan B.
As an entrepreneur who’s been in business for a while now, I always make sure I have a Plan B in my back pocket (you can choose whatever pocket you’d like for yours). Plan B is what you do when disaster strikes — totally unexpected stuff that demands priority. It can be a family emergency like mine. It can be an illness (also like mine). It can be a natural disaster. Whatever it is, it cannot be ignored or brushed under the rug.
The trick is to make sure your business is in a position to withstand a knock upside the head, because the probability is super-high that one will happen at some point.
In Plan B times, the goal is to make sure what absolutely-positively has to be done, is done. And still done well. The rest can wait. For me, that means taking care of current clients and not worrying much about casting about for new ones. My first priority was my Mom’s health and care. My second was my Dad’s. My third was my business… current clients first.
It helps that I’m blessed with the best clients in the world, and the best support staff. None better. I kept both in the loop about current events and we worked around schedules as needed. Communication is key. My clients kept making progress because we didn’t stop progressing.
Oh I can hear it now…….but Anne, I have a [insert your type of business here] business and can’t be gone for more than 24 hours!
If that’s your current situation, it’s time to rectify that so when (not if) emergencies happen, you can deal with them without also landing in the hospital. Doesn’t matter if it’s brick and mortar, consulting, or anything else… If you ‘can’t’ leave your business for at least a week without worrying it will fall apart, then you need to fix that.
Processes and procedures identified and written, for starters.
Let’s face it, that dose of bronchitis I got? We all know it was from stress and lack of sleep and probably too much time in hospitals (nothing makes you sicker than getting better in a hospital!). I would have preferred not to come down with it.
But even Bronchitis had a silver lining……my Dad actually used Uber! Oh, he’d been thoroughly trained on it previously, but had gone to lengths to avoid it. Now we all know he can make it work. Because well-trained and dedicated staff will step up to the plate when you’re executing your Plan B.
Please think about what would happen if you had to be away from your business for up to a month — and then reverse engineer how you can plug the holes your absence would leave. Because every one of those holes is a profit leak that will turn into a gusher if you let it.
So here I am in your inbox again. My Mom is on the comeback trail – home, walking, doing her PT and OT exercises and getting back to projects she wants to get done. My Dad has stopped using Uber. Amazing.
What’s the state of your Plan B? If you’d like to think it through ‘out loud’ to make sure you’ve got it covered, I’d be happy to hear you out. We can make sure you’ve set your priorities and plugged the leaks in your business: book a call with me here.