TUESDAY CHALLENGE: BE PREPARED
Bad things happen to good people! This week I was called to help close a small business. The owner passed away un-expectedly and the surviving spouse had no knowledge of the business. My contact with this business owner has always been on a “friendship basis” and from an outward appearance, everything was under control.
I am sure you can guess what is coming next. As a one person operation the only person I could count on to provide an answer was the spouse, and as I previously mentioned, she had no knowledge of any part of the enterprise.
Your challenge this week is to take a step back and make sure that if you disappeared tomorrow, someone could walk into your business and easily know what was going on. I based this challenge on what I am currently working with in this particular situation.
- First and foremost, keep a neat and orderly office. Make sure that all paperwork is filed under the correct heading.
- Make sure that all your passwords are in writing and easy to associate with a specific site, and, then placed in a secure area. Someone you trust should know where they are located.
- Have all receivables and payables clearly marked and easy to locate.
- Keep your check book(s) balanced and make arrangements to allow someone else to also sign.
- Keep a separate file on all open transactions.
- Keep a log of conversations with potential new or repeat business customers.
- Keep a list of all contacts that have to be made in case of an emergency such as suppliers, your accountant, attorney, business associates, etc.
- Have all your legal and financial documents in one, well labeled location.
This project will take many hours of my time and it will be very hard on the family, both financially and emotionally. Your challenge is to make sure that all the items I mentioned above are in order in your own business. This may very well be one of the most important challenges you will ever have.
Many years ago I developed a book along with a disk on which you can keep complete records of your personal items in case of an emergency or death. My cost on these books is $20. I have approximately 25 books left. If you are interested please contact me.
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