How To Manage A Business When You’re Sick
Illness can strike at any time.
The odd sick day isn’t likely to harm your business, but long-term sickness could have a detrimental effect on your company. If you’re too ill to manage the day to day tasks, you may have no chance to close your business. This could have a harmful impact on your company’s reputation and may prevent you from paying company bills as you’ll no longer be making an income.
Fortunately, there are ways to protect your business if you fall sick. Here are just a few preventative measures that you can take to stop the illness from damaging your business.
1. Start by protecting your health
The best way to protect your business from illness is to not get ill in the first place. Some health problems are inevitable, but others are the result of lifestyle choices.
First, you should make sure that your work isn’t damaging your health. A clean work environment could stop you from catching bugs. Meanwhile, using protective equipment and prioritising ergonomics could prevent Repetitive Stress/Strain Injuries (RSIs).
Work-related stress is also worth guarding against – as well as bringing down your immune system. Stress from work could be contributing to health problems of its own such as heart disease and hypertension. Make sure that you’re giving yourself breaks from work and that you’re not taking on more work than you can handle.
Other healthy lifestyle choices such as regularly exercising, keeping up a healthy diet and getting enough sleep could help you to avoid developing a debilitating illness.
2. Work on creating an autonomous business
An autonomous business is able to keep operating even without senior management. To get to this stage, you need to grow your business to a point in which you can hire enough employees or outsource enough services. They will take care of all the core business tasks without your supervision.
This involves being able to trust the people you hire and outsource to make decisions for you and potentially view sensitive company data. You can then take a backseat and let your business run without you.
Of course, many business owners that get to this stage still like to play a major role in their company. The difference is that you have the choice to step back if needs be. Creating an autonomous business is no easy task and could take years of hard work to achieve.
There are other options which could be easier to obtain. This includes creating a semi-autonomous business, which you still handle the admin such as the payroll and managing stock. Then your employees can carry out all other duties – in a company.
For example, a construction business could allow you to relieve yourself of the physical work when ill and simply do the digital work. Another option meanwhile could be to hire and train up an assistant manager who can step in when you’re unable to do so.
3. Keep outgoing payments going by insuring yourself
It’s also possible to insure yourself against the costs of illness. If you’re unable to keep your business running and make an income, this could grant you the compensation to still cover the cost of bills and debts.
Income protection insurance is a common way of funding oneself when self-employed and sick. Generally, you’re only entitled to half your regular income, but this is still better than nothing.
Income protection insurance rates are affected by various factors including the state of your health, your income, your credit score and the health risks involved in your job. By shopping around, you can find the cheapest rates and most comprehensive cover.
There are also more specific types of protection available such as this pharmacy protection, which helps to continue paying debts if you’re a pharmacy owner that is seriously ill. Lenders may also be able to offer loan protection at an extra cost. This could be something to consider next time you take out a business loan, although it will mean paying more on top of your regular repayments.
4. Set up extra passive income streams
Passive income streams are forms of income that may involve an initial investment but don’t require much hands-on work afterwards. As a result, they can enable you to make money even if you’re ill.
A buy-to-let property is a popular passive income stream that many employers will use as a backup form of income. By buying a property and renting it out to tenants, you can receive regular rent to cover any mortgage and make a profit on top.
You could even buy a property using business funds as a limited company. This could provide a way to make extra company income and cover outgoing business costs. Of course, this may not be wholly passive as a landlord is sometimes required to step in and make repairs. You could also answer tenant queries, however, these are tasks that someone else could step in and take over.
Another option could be peer-to-peer lending. This involves lending money to someone as a loan – they then pay you back the loan in instalments with interest attached. This is a truly passive income as you don’t have to lift a finger. Especially if you go through an established peer-to-peer lending site that will chase up any late payments for you.
In conclusion, other options you could try include investing in stocks or assets. You may be able to sell these for a profit in the event that you fall ill, giving you some cash to then live off and pay necessary bills. However, you will need to be physically/mentally able to handle the sales process.
So, how did you handle your business the last time you fell sick?