Here are my top tips:
- Keep your customer contact details in a central location (GDPR secure, of course!), but also ensure that these are available to be accessed in the event of your unexpected absence by a trusted associate or colleague who could contact your customers on your behalf.
- If you use a password system such as LastPass, make a trusted business colleague your emergency contact, so that in the event of you being indisposed, someone can still access and update your key passwords, your website and any systems.
- Try to ensure that you keep a handy 'How to' guide (or handover document) that outlines what you do, and how you do it, for each of your customers. That way, if you needed to pass them across to another business professional, or if someone needed to take over the support temporarily in your absence, that it is relatively straightforward to do so.
- Have a plan for what needs to happen in your business in the event of your unexpected absence – who takes over, what processes need to be followed, etc. This will help to ensure that things run as smoothly as possible in your absence, and help to put your mind at ease too! If you have a preferred associate or colleague who you would like to take over customer support in the event of temporary or long-term absence, I would suggest making the customer aware of your plans - trust me, they'll prefer to know that you're thinking about providing excellent customer care and support, whatever the situation, and are likely to welcome the discussion.
- Another top tip - make sure you have appropriate insurance in place, just in case the worst should happen. This will give you (and your family) peace of mind, knowing that you and your business are covered financially, should something happen to you.
Finally, it's also worth having a PLAN B in business – that is, what you could do if the product or service you provide becomes obsolete. Planning passive income activities (drop shipping, affiliate marketing, selling digital products, etc.), or investing some time into learning new skills can help to reduce the potential negative impact that this could have on your business, and your personal life.
Why not consider a few different options for Plan B for your business today? You don’t have to put them into practice immediately, but planning these now, and implementing them over the next few months could really help to protect your business.