Is Your Biz Ready for when the Zombie Apocalypse Hits?

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{post from Supply Chick, Reba)

Were you one of the millions who tuned in to watch the season premiere of The Walking Dead not long ago?

Or are find yourself sitting in stunned silence at the results of our 2016 Presidential Election?

Yeah, me too.

<<Mind BLOWN>>

Maybe this is all a bit over-dramatic because there are no Zombie Apocalypses scheduled for any time soon. But disaster, mishaps and tragedies in life do happen. They may not involve the undead who can’t go uphill or even find their way out of sleeping bags, but they do happen.

As working folk, this “oh no!” moments come in the form of loved ones who get sick, natural disasters and even crime. These moments of heart-stopping and ambition-draining unfortunate situations in life can put you and your business out-of-commission for an extended period of time. If you are a solopreneur, small business or a start-up, this can be especially devastating when few people (if anyone) are available to keep the wheels of your biz humming along.

So, epic TWD episodes aside, this scenario does bring up an interesting point; the point that life sometimes does get in the way of our business dreams and goals. And if they do, will your business be prepared?  When the poo hits the fan, will your business have a “Plan B” in place to keep things moving forward and money flowing in?

Zombie Apocalypse

If this has not been on your radar until this moment, here are a few sanity-saving things to implement ASAP. BUT, the first step is to Stop Procrastinating. Seriously. I mean it.

I also can hear your eyes rolling from here. You’ll “get to it when you have a minute,” right?

I get it. I used to be one of those people that perpetually lived by the seat of my pants. I was lax on my assignment deadlines and pushed the envelope until the very last moment. I told myself that I “operated best under pressure.” That may have been true at one time in my career, but now I know better. My “ah-ha moment” came when Mother Nature sent a tornado through my neighborhood and dropped a tree on my house. It left me powerless (literally) to do any online tasks much less honor assignment deadlines.

Procrastination is not only the thief of time; it’s a sure-fire way to get yourself in a jam. My advice to all of you savvy biz pros is to stay on top of tasks, including the ones I am about to share.

Have a Back-up Person for your Business: In a perfect world, we would have a staff that rivals Mark Cuban’s and the freedom to play and spend money while our employees kept our businesses running seamlessly. But reality is that many of today’s business professionals are small businesses with limited staff, or solopreneurs with no staff. This can pose a problem if your knowledge and expertise is removed from the picture for a while and you are sole Captain of Your Ship.

As hard as it may be, find a backup person. Find another solopreneur who could keep things afloat in your absence. If you have staff, entrust and instruct one with The Care and Feeding of Your Business. If you don’t have staff, take the steps necessary to bring on a trusted virtual assistant who can not only help you with the growth of your business, but also take the reins temporarily if need be.

Whatever option you choose, be sure and have the conversation now with your would-be support person, before you really need their help.

Create Process Documents: Now that I’ve lit a fire under you to find a business Robin to your Batman (or the Cagney to your Lacey if you are a “80s lady) you need to take the steps necessary to document all of the business-critical info that is in your beady little brain on paper so your support person can know how you roll. This is the perfect time to create process documents on everything you do that is critical to the survival of your business. The idea is; if you have to step away from your business, your process documents will act as a guide or roadmap for those who are filling in for you in your absence. A written outline of duties, tasks, tips, passwords, and actions related to client care keeps things seamless flowing for your business (and the client) if changes should occur. Do this for upcoming projects as well.

Have Your Online Info Easily Accessible: Nothing is worse than trying to wrack your brain for details and information with when you are eye-deep in a personal crisis. Utilize sites like Carbonite, DropBox or even Basecamp to keep your information in one tidy place; a place where they can also be easily retrieved by your support people.

Another #SupplyChicksSavvy tip is to always remember that Google Doc and Google Excel sheets are your friend. These are great places to house a list of business or client links and passwords because they can be quickly and securely shared in case of a sudden departure on your part. Sites like Basecamp are also great places to create “Writeboards” of links and passwords that can be quickly accessed by anyone who is authorized. I promise this will save you and your support person from having to scramble around to see, “who changed the password and what it now?” in the heat of a crisis. I also believe it’s not a bad idea for any business to keep a list of their vendors and service providers somewhere. It may be something that is saved and not readily available, but again “accessible” in a pinch. This is a great tool in case you are unavailable and your back-up person needs to pay a bill or contact someone for service.

Mini disasters like the whole family coming down with the flu or your power being knocked out for DAYS will likely happen at some point in your business career. Hopefully none of us will ever have to worry about major disasters like Zombie Apocalypses or the undead visiting our towns. But either way, be prepared for anything that could potentially throw a monkey wrench into your business. Chances are disaster will never strike your business, but in case it does, you can rest easier knowing you have laid the ground work for others to step in and keep the ship sailing.



Supply Chick, Reba is a 30 year veteran of the office product industry. Reba loves her kids, her pets, chocolate, naps and Papermate Inkjoy pens. Connect with Reba and the Supply Chicks on Twitter.






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