We looked at financial contingency planning in my last blog. So, what else could we consider?
Keep clients informed
In the case of my recent broken wrist, I was lucky. Any work I had to do during my ‘plaster cast period’, I have managed. But what if I couldn’t? The last thing I would want to do would be to let down a client.
If you have built up a good reputation for delivering quality work to deadline, most people would probably be sympathetic if you couldn’t work for a while. However, on a practical note, they still have to manage the working process and meet their brief with or without your contribution. If you act quickly to keep your clients in the loop, you’re much more likely to limit the damage.
If you can re-jig deadlines and work and still keep the client happy, great. In my case, I phoned and emailed everyone to let them know what had happened. Before I did this, I came up with a contingency plan that might work for each client. For example, I was scheduled to work for one client for two days that week. So, when I rang them, I assured them that I could re-schedule the two days to the next week (as I knew that the work wasn’t too time sensitive).
Depending on what your work is, it may also be worth thinking about making arrangements for somebody else that you trust to fill in for you for a short time period if needs be. For example, in my teaching work, I have an ‘approved by my client’ work buddy who can take my class if I can’t.
You might also want to brief somebody on contacting clients to let them know what has happened if you are unable to do so yourself.
Managing the aftermath of my accident hasn’t been too difficult as I had a good idea of what I would do in the case of emergencies. However, I am now thinking of additional contingency plans I could make. This doesn’t mean I’m wasting energy obsessing about potential calamities in the future but ensuring that, if anything does happen, I am as prepared as possible to cope. Knowing that I have plans in place means that I can stop worrying and get on with my life.
Want to learn more?
FEU Training is running a number of free workshops around the country this autumn. If you would like to attend, look out for updates for workshops coming to your region or register your interest at firstname.lastname@example.org (if we have sufficient demand, we’ll come to you).