There are many ways to make your business run. You, as the owner and founder, often are involved in far too many of them. At least that is a common problem when you are starting out. It’s your baby. Whatever needs to be done? You’ll be the one to do it. But what happens when you aren’t around? How does your business function when you’re not there? It can be a long term absence – maybe you have a new child. Or it could be as short as an hour or so when you need to step out to the bank or run some errands. Whatever it is that makes your business run, it needs to be able to run when you’re not around.

Here in the land of my law firm, I’m facing one of these situations. One of my minions is down for the count with a nasty case of Influenza B. The first question from friends was “What are the symptoms?” The follow up is, of course, how will your law firm run without you at the office?

The Answer: Systems

Systems. It’s almost always the answer to the productivity questions we get asked these days. Your systems are in place to deal with all kinds of situations. Need to bring in more customers? We’ve got a system for that. Time to get your taxes done? We’ve got a system to get the records to the accountant. Need to forward the phone calls to your cell phone so you can spend time with a sick child? You’ve got it: there’s a system for that.

In your day to day functioning, your systems will be the assets that carry you through those times when you can’t be at the office. For me, I’m set up to work virtually, so whether I’m at my desk or with my little one who is curled up on the couch, I can make sure that things are running smoothly.

Legal Documents

In addition to business systems, it’s also a good idea to have legal documents in place for the business. If there are multiple owners, an agreement between the owners is vital. Who has responsibilities in case one of the other owners is incapacitated? Is one owner in charge of finances while the other is in charge of sales? What if those roles need to be reversed? If changes need to be made, do you need the owners to all agree on it? There can be many different questions that are easily answered by the proper legal documents.

A different set of issues arise if there are non-owners that may need to run the business and deal with certain issues. Especially if a spouse needs to step into the business, a power of attorney can be a useful document to have. It can specify in what circumstances someone else can step in and make decisions for the incapacitated person.

As with most things in life, a little planning goes a long way. Especially with a business, it can make a huge difference when an emergency arises and the business needs to remain open.

Next Steps

If you’re running your business and don’t have your systems and documents arranged the way you would like, or if it’s a good time to review if what you have is suited for you, call my office to set up a Legal Strategy Session and we can review the best options for you – (877) AMAYERS.

Andrew Ayers
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I work with business and estate planning clients to craft legal solutions to protect their legacies.