Benchmark Business Group

Is Your Business Prepared for What If?

March 10, 2020

One of the questions we often ask is, “What would you do if suddenly a key employee couldn’t come into work?”

What information does that employee have in their heads? What experience would your business miss? What tasks wouldn’t be completed on time? Are there any tasks that no one else knows how to do? Would you even know what they do on a day-to-day basis?

Most small businesses have a few key employees (sometimes the owner), that if they were gone would impact the day-to-day operations of the business. The problem with this is that sometimes events happen outside of your control or even the employees’ control that would stop them from coming to work.

Currently, we’re all watching and possibly dealing with the Coronavirus, which has quarantined many employees, but it could also be other illnesses or even natural disasters. Key employees could quit or be involved in an accident, or even win the lottery. The point is these events do happen and can impact your business.

However, there are steps that you can take to protect your business IF these events were to happen. And for most businesses it’s not IF they will happen it’s often WHEN they will happen. To prepare your business, consider:

  • Put it in the B.A.G. – Every position should have a Business Activity Guide (B.A.G) that describes tasks an employee is responsible for along with the timing. Tasks are broken into daily, weekly, monthly and annual lists. If an employee has to miss work suddenly you can easily pull out the list and know what responsibilities must be filled and by when.
  • Document To-Do Lists – Your team members are often making promises to clients and even vendors. When they leave for the day that information often goes with them. If an employee can’t make it to work what promises does your business need to fulfill? Whether you use a calendar, a CRM, an electronic to-do list, or an agreed upon place to leave a written to-do list, those promises need to be documented so that they can be filled.
  • Systemize – You’ve heard us say it before, your business should have documented systems and work procedures that capture both the knowledge and the “how to” of each task. These provide an insurance of sorts so that if the only person who knows how to complete the task is out of the office, someone can pick up the system and learn. It won’t make it perfect, but it will provide a great step in making sure your business owns the information to get the job done.

As mentioned previously, the elements that would make a key employee not available are outside of your control and maybe even outside of their control. Things like illness and emergencies are hard enough to deal with, but it adds extra stress to your team when the business is also suffering. By creating a work environment where your business isn’t dependent on any key employee, you increase the value of your business and make it less stressful to manage.

Learn more by taking the Value Builder Score.

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