So much of operating a business is about living in the moment. You’re focused on the immediate future, on the next year’s accounts, on managing your expenses, and ensuring that your staff are happy. It’s all about the time in front of you and the near future.
Nevertheless, the progress of time is unstoppable. When you’re so immersed in the here and now, time seems to pass ever-more quickly. It therefore sometimes makes sense to take a moment and wonder what the future might hold for your business.
While right now, you might be young, thriving, and full of energy – there is no guarantee that will be the case in the future. If you have built a business up, then one of your major concerns should be ensuring that it has a viable future. That means thinking the unthinkable; what will happen if you can’t work as you can at present? And what will happen when you’re gone? Businesses are rarely linked to the life of a sole person, so it’s up to you to ensure continuity for your innovation, both now and in the future.
So how can you go about doing just that?
#1 – Designate A Successor
This, of course, doesn’t have to be a family member. It just needs to be someone who is your second in command, and who can take over the business if you’re not able to. It doesn’t necessarily have to be someone younger than you – remember, you have to think about you falling ill and needing to step away from the business, not just your untimely demise.
This successor should be briefed on the basics of how the business is run and included in your future thoughts. They should be the one you can turn to if you can no longer work as you used to, feeling confident that they can handle anything that the business throws at them.
#2 – Adapting For Infirmity
This kind of thinking is not necessarily just the infirmity that comes with old age. For example, what will happen to your business if you break your arm and can’t work how you usually would – potentially for weeks on end? There are always solutions; you can install the easier-to-use push button switches on all machinery and use software that types your speech, for example.
Thinking through these solutions before you actually need them is a vital part of ensuring your business continuity. Go through your daily life and then imagine you can’t move in the same way you currently do – what changes do you need to make? Make them before you need them, and you’ll be ready for all eventualities.
#3 – Write A Will
Finally, it is impossible to discuss business continuity without acknowledging the need for you to compose a last will and testament. There is no doubt this is a macabre task, but it’s a necessary one. You need to ensure the future of your business is protected from lengthy probate arguments when you’re gone, so lay the future out clear in black and white – then everyone knows where they stand.
Your business is yours. The above measures help it continue to be so, no matter what the future may bring.