Small business owners face a lot of challenges every day and a major one is how to run your business when you need to take some time. In this case, when your sick – beyond the common cold sick.
I’ve heard it said you learn more in your first year of owning your own business than you any other year. I learned that lesson early on when I found myself in the hospital for a five-day stay and a lengthy recovery period ahead of me. Let me be clear: lengthy for me is anything over 24 hours.
When the cobwebs cleared they left behind tons of questions, like: how was I going to run my business? How would I let my clients know I’d be sitting on the sideline for a few games – at least.
You see, I’d never considered these things because…you guessed it…I never get sick. Of course, passing the buck to a second-in-command is always an option but there are still some things that you just have to do yourself – at least that’s true for me. One of those things was learning the MUST dos vs. the nice-to-do.
In total, I was down for two weeks before starting back to work. Luckily, I work from home and there are seven days in work week when you run a small business.
- Be honest – Most people understand that these things happen and generally at the most inconvenient of times; not that there is a good time. If they don’t understand, consider dropping them. Seriously. You need to take care of yourself and that includes surrounding yourself with people who are good for you.
- Stay in-touch – Smartphones and tablets make it easier than ever to stay connected. Managing my junk email cured my boredom before I was well enough to concentrate on work.
- Welcome your recovery time – As my dad, who owned his own business for 45 years, said to me: “It can be your friend or your enemy. The choice is up to you. Choose wisely. Either way, you still need time to recovery.” Thanks dad, you were right. Hush, don’t tell him that.
- Plan ahead: Before something catastrophic happens – when you have a lull in your business – make sure to use that time wisely and get ahead of the game. Maybe, it’s ordering more merchandise or scheduling social media posts or writing job descriptions. Whatever it is – do it. Even if you never get sick, you’ve just given yourself the gift of time for whatever does pop up in the future. Yeah, it might be something fun like playing hooky with your kids one last day at the beach before winter rolls through.