Does your biz have an emergency plan?

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by tonygreek, May 25, 2005.

  1. tonygreek

    tonygreek LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,448

    1.) what would happen to your business if you had to shut the doors for a couple of weeks, or longer, due to an emergency? do you have a plan in place?

    2.) do you maintain enough of an operational reserve fund to cover any cash-flow crimp that might occur, especially if you are the primary person for everything other than the labor?

    due to an ongoing, out-of-state family emergency that has been extremely time consuming, tonight is maybe only the 2nd time i've posted to lawnsite in over 5 weeks. when i have time, i plan on writing a couple of articles related to this topic, but one thing i've learned is the lesson to not spread one's self too thin by controlling every aspect of a company (or more than 1 in my case). for solo ops, this is obviously hard to do, but probably more important than for larger ops who might be able to pull from within to cover the day-to-day.

    just thought i'd bring up a topic that i never fully considered.
  2. pagefault

    pagefault LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 492

    I've got some people I could count on to help me run things, so I'd hire one or two people to do the work and recruit one or two former coworkers to help me manage them.

    I have enough cash to do that for the season, if I have to.
  3. tonygreek

    tonygreek LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,448

    you would hire someone or the people who would be helping you would hire someone? i'm referring to unforeseen issues, as in the type where you receive a phone call now, pack a bag, and you're in another state within a few hours.

    my scenario was exactly that, and i was gone for 10 days, returned to handle a couple of days of work, and then back out of town for another stretch. this could actually be ongoing for the forseeable future. less than 15% of my total revenues are maintenance-related and the rest is based on selling new work. luckily i had the reserves, and backlog, to handle it, but it was definitely a nearly disasterous cash-flow crunch.
  4. pagefault

    pagefault LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 492

    All of my work is maintenance so far, so I don't have the same pressing need to be selling. I have four people I could count on, even so far as hiring laborers for me. Between the four of them, I'd be covered. I'd feel really bad about imposing, but I'd be covered.
  5. Jpocket

    Jpocket LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,278

    I havn't given this area much thought... It's pretty scary now that I think about it. You could leave with 75 accounts and come back with 35 !!!!!!!!!
  6. Frontier-Lawn

    Frontier-Lawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,949

    i have atleast 2 friends i could call and they be at my door in under 1 hour to help out.
  7. nocutting

    nocutting LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 530

    When I get sick?.....My girlfriend can fly in here within a day or two[ my clients Luv seein her] , also have a buddy thats a larger LCO [ 15 employees] and another "1 man show like myself thats pretty responsible", I dont have weekly maintance, more the monthly kind w/ other special services......."They've saved my Arse a few times already", Thank God to Friends, Amen :)
  8. Aussie Topcat

    Aussie Topcat LawnSite Member
    Posts: 90

    I recently hurt myself a bit,but it costed me a week off the road.

    I am a one person operation, no emergancy plan to work with- I just called clients & said "I will be on the road ASAP".

    It's something that does need attention!

    Does anyone have a real written plan for this? :blush:
  9. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    I had a problem last year, sent me away for a week then some more days. I lost work (and subsequently money) and had a little cash saved but what really saved me is back-stocked supplies: Spare oil, spare blades, spare belts - I ran the business for 8 months or so without hardly any expense by simply utilizing stocked resources for repairs / maintenance and just didn't buy no equipment, used what I already had.

    So this year since the money is good, I replenished some depleted SUPPLIES:
    I got 100+ quarts of oil (over 60 of it synth.blend, enough for 2-3 years, including my personal cars).
    I got a new Wb, a new bp blower, and a new edger plus 20 or 40 blades.
    I put BOTH the old Wb's in the shop, one stayed for months. Yes, they are fixed.
    I put the truck in the shop, it is fixed, too.
    I got ROLLS of weed-eater line (enough to last 10 or 20 years).
    I got BLADES (24 of them total right now).
    I got BELTS (about 50 of them... wheel belts, trans belts, blade belts, truck belts, alt.belts, you name it, I got 2 or 3 of each).
    I got GALLONS of Super-concentrated Round-up (enough for 2-3 years).
    I got TARPS (about 6 or 8).
    I got a SLEW of nuts/bolts/clips/washers/fuses/bulbs/etc,etc,etc - boxes full.
    I got the Credit card paid OFF (this helps absorb dire straits, too).
    On the personal side, I got GROCERIES (enough for 4-6 months)
    and so on, I can't remember it all, it was right around 8 or 10 thousand dollars worth. Money in the bank? Well there isn't much left because I find supplies is far better because I can't spend supplies and supplies is what gives me the ability to run month after month after month without hardly any expense (except maybe fuel) and now I can do it for about a year straight and then I can do it some more.

    I learned the hard way but luckily I had stocked some things beforehand, but the last time taught me to stock up a lot harder. That, and the will to continue and refuse to throw in the towel because I am NOT going back to work with OR for someone else (FOR might be ok, but not WITH).

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