If you own your own business, there are a lot of balls to juggle on a regular basis. It can be overwhelming just to keep up with the day-to-day operations that keep your biz going every week. We totally understand that. But if you’re only doing what you need to do in order to prepare for – and survive – the week (or the month, or even the year), then you’re doing yourself a major disservice.
Are you preparing for the future of your business? Do you plan to keep working until the day you die, or would you like to one day retire? Guilty confession time: I don’t have a retirement savings plan in place, except for what my husband puts away from his job. I’m lucky to have that – and him – but it won’t help me if Lady Luck runs out on me like a thief in the night (which we all know she really enjoys doing). As a self-employed person, you don’t have an employer putting away retirement savings for you as part of your paycheck – so it’s your responsibility to do it for yourself.
This post on Create & Thrive is a great place to start – a simple retirement plan for the self-employed. You don’t have to be a financial expert; you just have to take ACTION. Start saving now, and build on it as you can, so you won’t be left empty-handed in your later years.
In Case of Emergency
Having a savings plan in place is a great start, but there may be other things you need to do in order to prepare for an emergency in your life that hits you before retirement. If something happened to you, would your spouse or significant other know how to close down your business? To alert your current customers or clients? Maybe it’s time you put together an emergency file in your filing cabinet or laptop to help someone else know what to do if you become incapable of working for your business. Even if it’s a short-term emergency, like a car accident, you may one day need someone else to step behind the curtain for a while.
What if a bigger disaster strikes? What if your home town is hit by a natural disaster, or worse? Etsy has put together a list of resources for your small biz if disaster strikes. It includes everything from insuring your business property to communicating with your customers about shipping delays; they really have thought of almost everything.
Sometimes the emergency might be slightly shorter-term. Maybe you have a funeral to go to, or you get hit with a nasty bout of the Flu, and you just need to take a little time off from your business. Have you built that flexibility into your life and biz, or would your entire business crumble around you if you stopped working for a week? Tara Swiger has two great posts on this subject – one on how to make your business sustainable from the hard times out and one on building snow days into your business.
What about you? Is your business ready for anything? Are you? Share your tips for preparing for the unknown future in the comments below – we’d love to hear them!