Last fall I didn’t expect to have emergency surgery.
But when the words tumor and cancer come out of your doctor’s mouth, you pretty much run to the operating room without a second thought.
Thankfully, I plan for unexpected situations.
Several safety nets made it easier for me to focus on recovery and healing after surgery. They also eased some of the financial stress of the situation.
If you’re a solopreneur, freelancer, entrepreneur, small business owner or self-employed, you need to prepare too.
Here’s a few ideas to get started.
1. Paid Time Off and Vacation Days
Whether the flu bug bites you, or you simply need some time away on a quiet beach, plan ahead for days away from work tasks.
When you’re just starting out, finding the funds for this can be incredibly difficult. But, if you start with something — even twenty dollars per pay period — it will build up. Set this money aside in a separate account and watch it grow.
2. Life Insurance and Other Policies
When you have an employer, they often provide a benefits package that includes life insurance. Although it’s not very sexy, it’s incredibly important to budget this perk into your business expenses.
Find an insurance agent you trust and discuss what you might need. For me, life insurance ensures that my husband can afford a funeral and pay off the mortgage so he can stay in our home if I were to die unexpectedly. It’s not fun to think about. But, it’s important.
Other policies to consider are short-term disability and business insurance to cover your professional equipment and injuries to people while working with them.
3. A Personal Savings Account
Although everyone should have some money stashed away, it’s even more critical for small business owners and entrepreneurs. As a start-up, funds ebb and flow. Some months are better than others, so it’s nice to have a little financial cushion for the dry periods.
4. Retirement Investments
As an entrepreneur, I love my career. I can’t imagine not writing or doing photography in some capacity pretty much forever.
But, as some point, we all downgrade to a part-time or occasional work status and need to supplement our incomes. It’s never too early (or too late) to think about retirement investments.
Speak with someone at your bank or insurance agency to see what opportunities best fit your future financial needs.
5. Friends in the Business
Several years ago, just 8 months after opening a portrait studio, I got sick. Very sick. I canceled all my scheduled appointments for a month, and eventually ended up closing my doors.
During my time of despair, I was glad to have friends in the photography business who I could refer my clients to. Leaving customers stranded is a horrible feeling. Having friends who do what you do is priceless when you need to take time away from your desk unexpectedly.
They love the extra work, you save your reputation and the customers are satisfied.
Are you an entrepreneur? What safety nets do you have in place to make your business run smoothly? Tell me in the comments below.