Why You Need to Make Contingency Planning a Priority
We all know that when you’re a Small Business owner, building a business with its ability to function relying solely on you is a really bad idea.
We know that we should have systems set up and plans in place for ‘just in case’. But many business owners, and for a long time this included us, don’t make this a priority.
For some, it’s a case of just not thinking about it. Not wanting to think that something could go wrong. Or not realising that things can happen that stop us from being able to function, partially or completely, in our day to day lives.
For most it’s not a lack of knowledge or planning, it’s more commonly a lack of time or priority.
It’s one of those thoughts sitting there in the back of your brain ready to jump out at two am, only to be silenced again when the phone starts ringing the next morning.
Dealing in ‘what-ifs’.
Up until last year, our life was so crazy that we didn’t have time to deal in ‘what-ifs’. We knew we were taking a risk, but we’d put it to the back of our minds and just got on with it. I mean, we’d had little obstacles, a gastro bug here and a bout of the flu but we’d always managed to make things work.
But in 2018, after almost ten years in business as a husband and wife team, with kids, we decided to make contingency planning a priority. Thankfully. And I’m going to tell you why that was the single best business decision we made in 2018.
This wasn’t in the plan.
With a massive relaunch for our major product coming up in the first quarter of 2019, plus a few smaller projects and both kids on school holidays, we’d both decided to work part-time through the Christmas period. The plan was for us to work on the relaunch and do some tidying up while soaking up the summer with our kids.
Then, two days after Christmas in the middle of the night, I slipped down a flight of stairs at home. In a lot of pain and not able to stand, I sat in a heap waiting for an ambulance. Still, with everything going on I thought the paramedics would come, pick me up, walk me around the room and tell me to go back to bed.
It’s going to take how long?
How wrong I was. My right ankle was badly broken and after two surgeries, five days in the hospital and two weeks stuck in bed (so far), I am staring down the barrel of a recovery period of four to six months.
It’s just an ankle though, right? Seems like not a big deal. But right now, I can’t even get myself a glass of water. I can’t walk. I definitely can’t drive. And living in a rural area with children, multiple businesses and an unknown number of clinic and physio appointments to get to, life as we know it has drastically changed.
Had this had happened prior to us committing to contingency planning last year, it’s likely we would not have survived this.
Make now the time to think about contingency planning because in a split second everything can change. Don’t wait until something happens before you start considering the ‘what-ifs’.
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