Emergency Biz Plan

I’ve been thinking about what would happen to my business in
the event I became incapacitated. How would it go on?

I’m going to make an “Emergency Business Plan” that will include the
following:

  • Access information. Where, exactly, my customers’ names can be found, being careful to distinguish paper and computer files.
  • Names and phone numbers. Make note of numbers for accountants, attorneys, business accounts, Webmaster, suppliers, printers, designers, advertising reps, contacts for upcoming workshops.
  • Passwords to access my accounts, computer, and Web site.
  • Accounts. Banks, credit cards, online vendors, merchant accounts, etc. Include the names of individuals who have been particularly helpful at these places. I do most of my business on theĀ  Internet. Everything from printing my e-books to processing credit card orders is done through an online account. There is no way anyone trying to pick up the pieces of my business would have any idea about these accounts unless I told them and gave them the passwords for access.
  • Memberships and subscriptions. Sometimes these can be transferred. They might also be automatically renewed and charged to my credit card if not careful. Memberships might include museums and artist organizations. Subscriptions could be anything from computer virus scanner to periodicals.
  • Tips. Anything that might be helpful to someone coming into my business for the first time.

The final and most important thing I have to do is to tell my husband and one other trusted friend where they can find this information in the event of an emergency.

 

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2 comments to Emergency Biz Plan

  • Linda Crane

    Putting another person on your bank accounts and property gives them total access to your assets and opens you to the possibility of abuse and theft. A more reasonable alternative is to provide a Financial Power of Attorney which is kept in your possession (in a safe) and which is accessible via a key kept with the person who has your healthcare POA (hopefully, a different person from your financial POA). That way it can be gotten if it’s necessary, but you’re not giving up control of your assets. I have been through this 5 times in the last 7 years and now am alone, so this is something I am all too familiar with. Another issue is the new “Hospital Privacy Protection Act” which prevents anyone other than a spouse from getting information about you should you be unable to sign off on a release. For me that means no one would be able to find out that I was even hospitalized so that the Healthcare POA could be invoked. There are companies who maintain the HPPA releases and contact lists, so that the people we choose can get information about us. The one I use is Care Call and I have a sticker on my driver’s license as well as a keychain tag with their number. They also keep allergy lists, medical conditions, prescription lists, and so on, like Medic Alert. I also have a notebook on my desk with the instructions for everything I feel my POA’s and friends may need to know and where to find it. It’s no fun to try to figure things out after someone is too sick to help or worse, dies suddenly.

  • I also had these responses from other alert artists: Lynne Hull of Fort Collins, CO, wrote: “For the emergency file, I recently made CD ROMs of all my most essential images of my projects and got a big enough bank safe deposit box to hold them. If the house burned down, I might not have time to carry out my boxes and boxes of slides!” See Lynne’s work at http://www.eco-art.org ————————— Ron Diorio of New York City wrote: “Good ideas. Additionally and FTP site with back up files and notebook info remotely available and CD or DVD back ups sent monthly to remote sites for safe keeping.” Ron’s work can be found here: http://www.rondiorio.com ———————————- Nancy De Camillis, a sculptor and editor of Sculptural Pursuit magazine, wrote: “This is a great one Alyson. A staff person just asked me last week what they would do if something happened to me in the future. Who would take over the art direction of the magazine? I came up with some solutions and I have several I’m working on now. Your article gave me some new thoughts around this whole idea. I had started listing my passwords, account numbers, etc. in a notebook and in a file. Then I started a file to tell my staff where this info is located. I also sent them account info and anything I felt they would need to have right away. Especially since I travel so much. Thanks for a timely article.” Read about the magazine at http://www.sculpturalpursuit.com and the artists’ retreat in Costa Rica at http://www.theartistsrefuge.com. ——————————– Diane Edwards of Fort Collins, CO, thought this was quite timely: “There’s never been a time I didn’t get something good to great out of your information, but today when I opened the email about the emergency business plan I felt really almost faint! I had had a dream last night that my kids were trying to figure out what to do with all my “stuff”. I write books so have several thousand of those as well as hundreds of collected books, paintings, papers and collected pieces from other artists. Thank you more than I can say for your prescience on this matter. I am going to start immediately on this plan.” See Diane’s work at http://www.nordic-arts.com.