Emergencies are emergencies for a reason and while you don't know when they will happen, at least you can create a game plan ahead of time in case they occur.

There are many types of emergencies, and in this article I'll be talking about systems you can put into place for personal emergencies that might take you away from your business for a short amount of time.

This isn't a normal topic for me to write about, but with my impending "planned emergency" of having my first baby I thought it would be helpful to share the systems I've put into place to help things run smoothly when "D-Day" arrives.

To simplify things, when you have to step away from your business unexpectedly there are a few groups that will be affected:

• Your clients (of course).

• Your prospects (people on your list, those that are signed up for events you have planned etc.).

• Your team.

• Your promotional partners.

When you break down your business into these 4 areas it becomes easier for you to make a plan for how to keep everyone in the loop and be able to step away without feeling like you've forgotten something.

So let's take a look at each group and what you can do to decrease the impact of you being away.


These are probably the toughest because they've paid you money for a service and so you have an obligation to them to deliver on your promises. When it comes to an emergency though, some things can't be helped and you'll be surprised at how understanding people can be in times of crisis.

1. Keep track of your clients and where they are in the process of working with you. This will be useful if you have a backup person that can take care of their immediate needs until you're back. It will also help you get back on track much quicker because you'll know where you left off.

This could be as simple as keeping a Google Drive spreadsheet with their name, email address, and where they are in your process. This would be shared with your team members so if you need to step away they know who needs to be contacted.

2. Draft a notification email that you (or your team, or a family member) can send on a moment's notice to let your clients know that something has come up and an approximate timeframe on when they should hear from you next. You could also include contact information for someone that can answer questions in the meantime, or if you have a backup person they can continue work with in the interim.

The most important thing to remember with your clients is to keep them in the loop and set expectations. Clients are much more understanding if they don't feel like they've been left in the dark.


This group is much easier because it's more about just keeping people in the loop and not "suddenly disappearing" which could hurt your credibility. So here are some easy things you can put into place quickly if you need to take unexpected time away.

1. Keep a newsletter draft saved that notifies everyone on your list that you'll be away for a bit and look forward to catching up when you're back.

2. Keep a broadcast draft saved that you can send to everyone you have registered for tele-seminars, webinars, events etc. that lets them know the event has been postponed due to a personal emergency and you'll let them know when it will be rescheduled.

3. Save a "vacation auto responder" in your email software that you can quickly turn on telling anyone that emails you that you're currently away and who they can contact if they have an immediate need.

4. If you use an automated scheduling system you may also want to block off all the time on your calendar for while you're away so no one can schedule a meeting with you and think you just didn't show up.

5. Take down any registration pages for events that will be occurring while you're away so you don't have new signups that won't get the postponement email.

These are all fairly simple to set up and have on hand ahead of time, and if they're generic enough you'll always have them ready. Your followers will appreciate being kept in the loop and this demonstrates your commitment to your business.

Your Team

The best thing you can do for your team is to be prepared ahead of time for if you need to be away.

Make sure they are aware of the procedures you've put into place and where to find the info they need to help support you.

An easy way to do this is to have a shared Dropbox or Google Drive folder that contains things like:

• The client list mentioned above with where everyone is in the workflow process so they know where they can jump in to help or at least be able to field questions if needed.

• Logins they'll need to send out broadcasts for you, turn on your vacation responder, block off your calendar, or take down pages on your website.

• A check list for what saved email drafts should go out to which lists.

• Procedures for anything else you'll need them to do while you're away.

And keep in mind, if you don't have a team working with you, a family member could do many of these things as long as they were shown how ahead of time.

Your Promotional Partners

This one is probably the hardest to automate, unless you keep a list of what promotions you have going on and when in the file for your team so they can reach out to everyone personally.

In lieu of that, you may need to send off a quick email to promotional partners with a heads up that you need to be away, and who to contact on your team should they have questions.

What fail-safes do you have in place?

This of course is not a comprehensive list and I'd love to hear about what others have put in place should they need to step away from their business at a moment's notice.

Author's Bio: 

Holly Chantal is the founder of The Land of Brand, a website design and branding company for coaches and solopreneurs. Go to http://www.thelandofbrand.com and download a free video training on how to use your personality to create a unique brand - because your mom was right when she said you were special.