In the past four years, I have been recommending that my business-owner clients draft what I call their Strategic Contingency Plan. When a business owner dies, even the perfect plan does not usually include steps on what will happen at their business the day after the death of the business owner. I call this “the process to prevent roadkill of the business.” To initiate the process, I ask the business owner, “If last night you became part of a Mack truck grill on the local interstate highway, what happens this morning in your office when the calls start coming in?”
These are the kinds of calls I ask the business owner to think about:
- The business owner’s banker will call, wanting to see whoever is now going to pay off the outstanding business loan.
- Customers will call, wanting to know who now will take care of their orders.
- Vendors will call, wanting to know whether they should still fulfill the order requested just yesterday.
- The business owner’s own employees will call, asking whether they should come to work today and whether they will still have a job.
With the Strategic Contingency Plan in place, there will be answers for what the owner wants to take place in order to take care of these kinds of inquiries.