How to Keep Running Your Business If You Get Sick

kathryn by Kathryn Hawkins on August 24, 2011
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Sure, you can still go to work when you have a case of the sniffles. But what happens if a more serious illness or disability takes you out of action for weeks or months at a time? How do you make sure your business doesn’t suffer a health decline, too? Here are some tips for keeping the shop running while you’re stuck in bed.

Buy disability insurance. While you’re healthy, it’s important to be proactive about your business’ success by purchasing disability insurance. If you’re the boss, there’s a good chance your extended absence could lead to a loss of profits, and you never know when a sudden health issue or disability could arise: More than a quarter of today’s 20-year-olds will become disabled before they retire, according to the Council for Disability Awareness. Purchasing disability insurance means that you’ll be able to continue covering your operating expenses with your claimed benefits, even while you’re off the job.

Find a good sub. If you’re a sole proprietor, you may not have the option to find a fill-in, but if you run a family business or have employees, you should be able to pass responsibility along to a substitute manager while you’re out of the office. Before a health issue comes up, take the time to train your second-in-command thoroughly on how to do your job, so that if the need arises, he or she can take over at a moment’s notice.

Use a smartphone. When you’re not able to make it to the office, your smartphone can be an ideal tool to help you stay up to date on what’s going on at work. Ask your employees to copy you in on all important emails, and organize a daily phone call to discuss any important issues and advise your staff on how to address them.

Don’t be afraid to take a break. Many entrepreneurs tend to become ill because they’re constantly stressing about work and don’t take the time to exercise, eat right, or get enough sleep. Your illness could be your body’s way of warning you to slow down, so don’t be afraid to take some time away from the job to recuperate. By waiting until after you’ve had the chance to relax and recover to return to work, you’ll be able to make better choices as a manager — which will help you build a more successful business in the long run.

kathryn

Kathryn Hawkins is a business writer for Intuit and is passionate about solving small business problems.

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