A comprehensive emergency plan is needed for small business owners, start-up founders, freelancers, and the self-employed, including lawyers, doctors, accountants, and other professionals. Unlike large corporations that have a board of directors familiar with details of operation, a small business owner has fewer than 20 employees. In fact, according to Census Bureau data for 2016, three-fourths of U.S. businesses have no paid employees. If you are a small business owner and you become incapacitated due to an accident or illness or if you pass away, is there anyone who can jump in to handle your business affairs? A comprehensive emergency plan could help to protect all that you’ve worked for.
Business Succession Planning
Business succession planning can go a long way in setting up your wishes for who succeeds you if you become disabled, retire, or pass away. Document financial and logistical decisions regarding the transfer of business ownership to an heir, co-owner, outside party, or key employee. Selling the company is another option.
If you are a family business owner, there can be additional challenges in preparing an emergency plan. The top concern for most in your position is to ensure that management of the business remains with a family member or person you designate. Your emergency plan may need to include the establishment of a process for decision-making to involve members of your family.
Creating a transition plan would be very helpful in an emergency situation. Options include making your small business a family member’s inheritance or arranging for outright purchase.
A Simple yet Comprehensive Emergency Plan for Small Business Owners
Outside the major business decisions made with business succession planning, there are many small but essential details that need to be accessible when you are unavailable. The reality is that many practical matters are frequently overlooked. An expert in such matters, a Certified Estate and Trust Specialist, recognized the need for a comprehensive emergency plan for small business owners. A Family Emergency Card has since been created. The resource makes it easy to provide numerous important details that might otherwise be lacking.
All categories of information that might be needed are included on the handy wallet-sized small business emergency card that has a USB connection for any computer. On the subject of finances alone, there are 22-plus topics. An insurance section provides prompts to include details about the following types of insurance and more: Life, medical, renters, homeowners, disability, and long-term care.
A Truly Comprehensive Emergency Plan
All of your affairs for your small business and your personal life can be addressed on the Family Emergency Card. There are areas for encouragement, words of wisdom, and other expressions.
In addition, there are prompts to record often-neglected details on the Family Emergency Card, such as: Various passwords for online accounts, email accounts, lock combinations, safe deposit box information, unpaid invoices, pending projects, and lease agreements.
Prepare today for Unexpected Emergencies
Small business owners account for 89% of all US employers. Family businesses, which are often in the small business category, make up half of the gross national product. The importance of properly handling your affairs may be greater than you realize, creating a more significant impact than you might guess. The comprehensive Family Emergency Card makes it easy for small business owners to prepare for the unexpected.
Contributing writer: Stephanie McHugh
About the Editor: Bryan Beeler is a Certified Estate and Trust Specialist