How to Keep Your Business Operational When Sick or Injured

When you’re an employee, you enjoy certain safety nets that protect you if you should get sick or injured. Between sick days, paid time off, and workers comp, it’s possible to focus on recovery and not have to worry about work. But when you’re an entrepreneur, a serious illness or injury can be devastating to your business. As you may have already wondered, how is it possible to keep your business in operation when you’re incapacitated?

Tips to Keep Your Business Going

You never want to find yourself in a position where you don’t have control over what’s happening with your firm. But regardless of how lofty your intentions are, you’re still only human and may occasionally find yourself incapacitated. Here are some tips for how to keep your business going if that happens.

1. Make Sure You Have Disability Insurance

The first thing every entrepreneur and small business owner should do is make sure you have disability insurance for protection against a potentially devastating mishap. You likely have other kinds of insurance protection, so why not for disability? “It helps support you or replace income if you’re injured in an accident or experience illness for a long period of time. It can cover months or years,” entrepreneur Murray Newlands notes. “Keep in mind it doesn't typically replace all of your income so you'll need to make sure you’re continuing to build an emergency savings account to cover the gap between income and your insurance payments.”

2. Get Your Personal Needs Taken Care Of

When you fall ill or suffer an injury, you need to focus on yourself before you ponder the future of your business. This should go without saying, but if there’s no “you,” there’s not going to be any business. For example, let’s say you’ve been hurt in a car accident. As attorney David E. Gordon regularly explains to his clients, you have to pursue some sort of compensation. You might think you’re fine now, but medical bills and future health-care costs can pile up quickly, so you have to prepare yourself for the worst-case scenario. If you’re not able to obtain the help you need, then you’ll probably find it a struggle to keep your business operational.

3. Strip Unnecessary Expenses

It’s reasonable to assume that revenues will drop during the period you’re incapacitated. And if revenues are dropping, you need to find a way to reduce expenses so you can maintain a positive cash flow (or at least manage to tread water). Make a list of unnecessary expenses and start eliminating them. The leaner you can make your business, the better off you’ll be.

4. Let Customers and Key Partners Know

If you’re apt to be away from the company for an extended period of time, it’s vital to let all the concerned parties know. You don’t have to discuss the personal details of your situation if you aren’t comfortable doing so, but definitely make your customers and key partners aware that there’s a good reason for your absence. 5. Use Remote Working Solutions Times have changed, and it’s much easier to manage a business remotely than it would have been 15 or 20 years ago. If you’re confined to a bed or not yet cleared to return to the office, you might be able to keep an eye on things by using remote working solutions.

Putting it All Together

For entrepreneurs, there’s never a convenient time to get sick or hurt. It’s always going to pose an unwelcome challenge, and your operation will typically suffer to some extent as a result of your absence. The key is to have a plan in place that will allow you to manage your business while on the mend, heal sufficiently, and return to work as quickly as possible.
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