Emergency trips can happen for multiple reasons they can be business related or personal in nature. In my case I hardly have those anymore. While working as an employee I did have those last moment trips where the client or my managers might have thought there was an Emergency and I had to get on a plane as quick as possible. I remember I had to scramble to get the less expensive way to get from point a to point b and for that reason I always had my bags packed so I would be able to go on a short notice and make sure I had everything I needed.
Just taking off and leaving being a small Business owner is a very difficult task to do since at the end of the day I don’t have the support team or resources we had while working at places like KPMG. When you leave you have to make sure things continue running even if you are playing multiple roles. If large companies find it difficult to find a replacement for someone imagine a small business owner with much limited resources.
Taking off and going can be difficult for the following reasons:
When a client has a need (and is covering travel expenses) this might not be a problem. Where you run into an issue, as a small business owner is that some of these clients reimburse expenses months later so if you have to make a few unplanned business trips the amount of money spent can have a significant impact on your finances.
Other than reimbursable expenses there are other travel expenses that are not reimbursable by the client and can also add up over time. A good example was an ex-coworker of mine who left a few things behind because he had been called in at last moment. He ended up buying those things out of his pocket although it was really our clients fault for giving us short notice to arrive at that location.
Try to find a way to plan for these situations have money saved up so you don’t have to miss out on the opportunity of helping your client and can wait until they reimburse you.
If you have to take off on an emergency for personal reasons there is also the situation where you might have lost the opportunity to continue to generate income. If you are paid on an hourly rate or by project and you have to sacrifice time working to handle personal situations this can also impact your finances. Try to find ways where you can actually shift some of the work off to other people in the same field.
It might be an opportunity to create a relationship with a competitor or peer where you both can end up being each other’s backups. If you can also assign tasks that can be easily done by someone else mark up the cost of their time and make a commission of using them on your projects. Not only does this pave the way for keeping your business running when you have your hands tied. It is also an opportunity to grow the capacity of your business and helping you focus on the business and not investing time on every detail.
Out of every situation I have presence being a small business owner I have learned that every situation brings me closer to understanding how to run a business in a better way.
In my case took off a few weeks ago to see my Grandmother which is still very ill and it might have been the last opportunity I get to spend time with her. My family’s health is more important than any project or business opportunity so I put everything to the side. The opportunity to make my grandma laugh one last time while I am next to her was priceless and no business opportunity can make up for missing out on that.
What are your backs up plans as a business owner?