If you run a small business, always prepare for emergencies. What if you take your team on a retreat and several members become ill from food at the same event? What happens if over half of your workforce has a close family member in the hospital or are in the hospital themselves? For a small team, this can and has happened. So how does your team function in times like this? Recently, this happened to my team. Last year I wrote a blog post about setting up systems to ensure your business can handle an emergency situation. The advice in that post has proved invaluable for us. While things may slow down a bit, they don’t have to stop; if you have systems in place. When you have a family type atmosphere, you’re more concerned with those who are ill anyway. This caring and concern is palpable. When you have a team that is sound in mind and heart, they know you not only want them to get better, but those same team members want the best for you as well! This desire to help and serve one another will serve you and your team well in the years to come. You’ll emerge even stronger after the emergency, than you were before. Here are some additional tips on what to do when an emergency situation affects or happens in your business:
- Have an overflow team at the ready! If our core team members have emergency situations; we ensure we have team members who can pitch in at a moments notice. Please be clear with your overflow team, so that they understand this is temporary work and that they must be flexible with their time. Many who work full time jobs can accommodate you with this.
- Alert clients immediately. When this happened with us, I made sure all clients knew that we had an emergency situation. Those who have been with us for years actually offered to pitch in and do their own work until things settled. How often do you find a company with clients like ours?! Most of our clients are simply the BEST!. However, while all of your clients may not be ideal; they should be informed of what is transpiring and alerted to any deadlines you can not hit. Most clients are people too 🙂 they will appreciate you for being upfront about the situation.
- Do what you can, even when in a stressful environment. Sometimes if you’re just waiting in a hospital room, doing what you love can take your mind off a stressful or emergency situation. Don’t add to your stress by trying to accomplish things you can’t. However, if you’ve alerted your clients as mentioned in the previous tip, then do what you can in the way of work. Also re-visit the tips in my previous post on how to handle an emergency situation; outlined here.
This is Shilonda Downing, signing off for Virtual Work Team LLC!