None of us wants to imagine a day when we cannot make it to work. Yet, a hundred things could happen that would prevent us from being at work, providing team leadership, and from making business decisions. In the event of an unexpected happening, we each need to have a contingency plan in place.
Data tells us that the chances of becoming disabled are much greater than the likelihood of our deaths. Most owners rarely have a disability plan in place while often having a plan in place to address the potential of their untimely deaths. For example, life insurance provides something for our families in the event of death.
But what happens if you’re unable to continue to treat clients, or to even make it to work? If you’re working as both the owner and as a clinician, your inability to work will create a loss of revenue. If you are an active daily leader of your clinician team and staff, will they be able to operate without you there every day? Do you have a management team in place that can operate the business on a daily/weekly basis? The answers to these questions help you formulate your contingency plan.
For example, when something happens to us, the owners, what happens to our businesses? To our employees? To our families? As the owner of a business, it is my responsibility – yours too – to have a “what-if” or contingency plan in place. In the event that things change dramatically and we cannot make it to work, each member of the team needs to know what to do to keep the practice going. A contingency plan provides guidance for each team member to know what to do. A contingency plan also provides your legal and accounting team with information on how to proceed.
The big question is: How long could your business last without you there every day?
No matter your answer, you and your practice need to have a contingency plan in place. The best place to start is by automating your practice. This is the work that I do with practice owners so that they can achieve their business and personal goals, as well as having a plan in place that allows the business to continue to operate even when they can’t go to work each day.
Your goals as the practice owner include putting together a business that can operate without you there day in and day out. Because if your practice cannot operate without you, then you have nothing more than a self-employed business, which means that you have a job at a business that you just happen to own.
Owners Working IN JOBS IN Their Practice Are At the Greatest Risk
When you’re the owner of your job, you are at greater risk than working somewhere else. Here’s why: If something happens to you when you work somewhere other than your own business, other people can step in, take over, and help out. But, if it’s your business and you do not have processes and contingency plans in place, then the business is literally less than 30 days from being gone.
As an automated practice owner, you have – or will have – in place the processes, systems, and documented plans for how the business best operates day to day. In other words, you have built a contingency plan that can keep the business in operation. With an automated practice, you have a business that can operate without you for as many days as you need, until you are ready to get back to work. Your automated practice has created a protection for yourself, for the practice, for employees, and for your family.
If your business dissolves, you need to think about family first, those people who will be caring for you and trying to help out wherever they can. Staff members can most likely get jobs somewhere else if your business dissolves. Your family, on the other hand, could be put into a horrible situation without you and your income. Yet, this situation happens all too often when people are too busy reacting to the present and not looking at the future and planning for all possibilities.
Time is of the essence. Create an automated practice so that your business could run day in and day out without you. Build a management structure that supports you and knows how to operate the business.
Ask yourself this question: “If anything happens to me, who would I want to take over and run the practice?”
If you are a solo-practitioner, business owner, consider whether a fellow business owner might be in a position to help you out, or even in a position to buy your practice.
When considering who you want to take over and run your practice for a few days, weeks, or even permanently, look for someone who can (or a management team that can):
- Implement day-to-day business operations.
- Provide clinician services as well as leadership.
- Ensure effective ongoing care for clients.
- Make sound financial decisions to keep the practice in business.
- Make sound hiring and training decisions to keep the practice in business.
- Support you while you are away and work with you to transition back into the business when you are ready to return.
Is the business worth anything without me?
If you have not automated your business practice and put a contingency plan into place, your business probably isn’t worth much without you. I know that is a cruel answer. But it is an honest answer. You don’t have anything of value without automated practices and a contingency plan because without you, there is nothing left of the business. Your office manager can’t run the entire practice.
Your vision, your leadership, and your planning are what make the business uniquely yours. Unless you have structures, systems, and plans in place, the business cannot continue without you. This is the reality of most small businesses – they’re not designed to last without the owner.
If a business is sustainable, it has real value! When our practices are sustainable, they can run without us. This is a different way of looking at our businesses. Focus your energy, release your worry and find your motivation so you can begin creating real long term value in your company.
Put a contingency plan together to protect your business and to protect yourself! Contact your practice advisors. Work together to establish, or refine, your contingency plan. Build an automated practice.
Critical Items to Consider in Your Contingency Planning
- Investigate Key Man Insurance Where Appropriate.
- Re-evaluate Your Personal Life Insurance Policy Regularly.
- If You Have A Partner, Be Sure You Have An Updated Partnership Agreement That Determines How Your Ownership Will Be Handled In The Case Of Death Or Permanent Disability.
- Build a Plan for What You’ll Do in the Case of a Business Catastrophe Like a Fire. This Is Huge, My First Practice Burned To The Ground, That IS NOT The Time To Find Out You Weren’t Prepared.
- Talk To Your Attorney About Your Situation and Identify Other Contingencies You Should Have a Plan for.
Also, The Automated Practice Program (TAPP) and I (Jamey) can help you plan for contingencies. Let me know how I can support your planning.
Ready to explore your vision for evolving your practice? Are you ready to participate in the TAPP program? Let’s get into a discussion. I’d like to hear what you have to say. If you’d like to have a conversation, please fill out the Owner’s Profile.