Sick? Injured? How small business owners can prepare for the worst
The worst case scenarios always come out of nowhere. No one ever thinks they’re going to be in a car crash, need routine surgery, or have to organise a funeral.
Most small business owners and freelancers don’t have much of a back-up plan if they can’t work. So what do you do if something out of your control happens? Here’s how you can be prepared for the unexpected.
Build up your savings just in case
Savings will make sure you’re prepared for anything, whether it stops you from working for a few days, or even a few months. The more you save, the more of a cushion you’ll have.
Not a natural saver? Here’s how to get started:
Include saving in your overall budget. If it’s an expense like any other, you’ll take it more seriously.
Choose a minimum amount or percentage and stick to it.
Set up a monthly Direct Debit. (A separate account will help you keep it sacred)
Keep watching it grow. It’s motivating!
Be prepared to wind things down when you need to
When stress increases, some people push themselves even harder because they want to stay productive no matter what. This makes burnout much more likely, which is now a diagnosable condition according to the World Health Organisation.
If you’re unwell, dealing with a family death, or taking on care responsibilities, you just can’t work at full speed. Rather than forcing yourself to cope with your normal workload, have a contingency plan for reducing your hours. You’ll be less likely to need to shut down completely, so you’ll still have a sustainable income.
No one ever said being a business owner would be simple! If other aspects of life are getting in the way, maybe for now they need the majority of your attention.
Have trusted people to delegate to
Tough times are much tougher when you’re dealing with them alone. If you can’t physically work for a while, even just one member of staff can help deal with essential jobs while you’re away.
Of course, this is an extra expense, but it’s worth it if it helps keep your clients and customers happy, whatever’s going on in the background.
Still a one-person operation? Depending on what kind of cover you need, you could contact a temping agency, work with a remote freelancer, or even hire someone you’ve worked with before.
Self-employment can feel fragile, but there are ways to protect yourself and anyone depending on how you make your living. Income Protection Insurance will make sure you receive a weekly or monthly salary if you can’t work. Policies are usually fairly affordable - costing around £25 a month, or one annual fee.
Plus membership with the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self Employed (IPSE) will give you up to £2,000 if you’re injured or unwell, up to £10,000 if a client goes bankrupt, and up to £5,000 if you’re called for jury service. If you want the comfort of a safety net in the future, consider paying into a policy now.
Whatever’s going on in your life, or however many hours you’re working, Solna can speed up your invoice payments and get you paid faster.
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