Creating a contingency plan for my business is one of those things that has been on my mind for years…but one of those things that just never really gets done.
Now that we are facing some increased risk with Coronavirus, it’s time to really get a plan in place for your business if you are unable to run it. Here’s what should be on your plan.
Who is going to help you and how?
You need to start your plan by deciding who you are going to share it with. If you become unable to take care of your customers, can a spouse or family member help you in anyway? Or can you find a friend or fellow shop owner that you know and trust?
You also need to know how you are going to share all of this information with them. I have a google document with the step by step process for taking care of everything should something happen to me. I’ve shared it with my husband. I’ve also shared it with one other family member in the event that my husband and I are both ill or injured.
You could also share this information in an email or write it down for someone. It doesn’t have to be complicated as long as whoever you are sharing it with knows where the info is!
What information do you need to share?
Most of us won’t have someone that can actually run the shop and make/send orders out in the event that we can’t do it ourselves. But you will still need someone to know how to log in, cancel orders, and handle a few customer services issues. So here’s the list of information that you should prepare.
You will need to share your Etsy log in with your designated people. Don’t count on anyone being able to use your computer to automatically log them in.
You also might want someone to be able to log into your email inbox and monitor for customer questions. The goal is to keep your customers updated. You don’t want them emailing you with questions and not getting a response.
The same goes with social media. Consider typing out a message that someone can post on Facebook or Instagram for you if you aren’t able to.
How to Cancel Orders
Your contingency plan should include instructions on how to cancel current orders. If you are unable to check in with your shop for a week or two, you don’t want to come back to a handful of open cases that could get your shop shut down.
My plan includes exact instructions for navigating to my orders and how to cancel/refund them. I even include a message to copy and paste into the cancellation form so my customers aren’t left wondering what is going on. Make this as easy as possible for whoever will be helping you. I have a way to sign up for my email list in this message, so customers will be able to get updates on when I’m back!
How to put the shop on Vacation Mode
After all orders are cancelled, your plan should include instructions on how to put your shop on vacation mode. You may also want to write a message that you would like to include in this announcement.
Bank Account Information
If you have a separate bank account for your business (which you should), you might want to give someone you trust access to that information. My husband can log in to my account and use that money if needed.
Go take 10 minutes to type up your emergency plan and share it with 1 or 2 people who you trust to take care of it should something happen. We’ve had a stressful few weeks, but this is an action you can take that will help you sleep a little easier tonight!