331 - Preparing your business for unplanned time off

On today's episode of the podcast, I chat with Jodi Brandon about preparing for unexpected time off in your business.

I'm hosting an open house! If you've considered working with me or aren't sure which service is best suited for you, register for the Open House on Tuesday, April 16th at 9am PST. I'd love to answer your questions and share more about the resources I have available to help get your legal and tax shit legit. Register at notavglaw.com/open-house

Jodi and I go way back to a mastermind event in 2019 and have been in a mastermind group together ever since brainstorming ideas and solutions in our business alongside for other business owners. She is also my book coach for Unf*ck Your Biz.

Jodi has one of the most streamlined businesses I've ever seen which lends well to taking unexpected time off, something Jodi has had to do. The streamlined organization is the product of the time off Jodi had to take when he husband had to have a valve replaced in his heart and what was supposed to be an easy procedure became unplanned open heart surgery that was much more complicated and required time off.

At this time, Jodi was doing all one-on-one copy editing work with no subcontractors or SOPs in place. This wasn't something scalable and Jodi was out of work.

This time off is what led her to diversify her offerings, including the book coaching she now offers. Subcontractors now on her team work on the copy editing.

After her husband's surgery, they knew that in the future he would need to have this same valve replacement again. Jodi wanted to be prepared for the next time she would need to care for her husband so she got to work learning about systems and preparing for what happens if you can't run your business.

She has a network of colleagues that she wanted do be able to line up work with in the event of an emergency so her clients wouldn't be out of luck.

During this time Jodi had some clients who were okay with being moved off her plate to someone else she lined up, some who were good to paise the project until Jodi could work on it again, and some who were unhappy and wanted to stay on schedule because they'd had a contract.

Jodi still discloses to all her clients that she is not always the main one to be doing the work because sharing your book can be a vulnerable project. Their contract is with Jodi Brandon Editorial, not just Jodi Brandon.

If you aren't in a place to financially hire someone just yet, that doesn't mean you can't plan for the unexpected. You don't necessarily need to have someone on stand by or do doomsday preparation, but you would be surprised how often these conversations are happening to prepare for all sorts of scenarios like maternity leave or chronic illness or caring for a relative.

To prep for this, you can charge the client more than you need to pay who you'll contract to. You may be making low overhead to keep your business afloat, but if you have long-term goals for your business, this is better than referring everything out and losing out on weeks or even months of client testimonials.

Systems are also an incredibly important part of preparing your business. The clearer your standard operating procedures are and the systems you have in place, the less someone will need to ping you to constantly be asking for info they can't find. These are all things we should have in place anyway, especially if you have team members who take time off, planned or unplanned. Loom videos can be incredibly helpful to create your SOPs.

If you need to give yourself unexpected time off, give yourself grace. Even when the business is still operating, it's easy to get caught up in negativity and frustration. It won't be forever, even if it feels like it when your life is in disarray. It's important to give yourself the mental space you need to not go down the negative rabbit hole. You likely won't look back and regret that time you spent during that unexpected time.

Going back to preparing your audience, like in the case of Jodi preparing her clients that it's not just her working on their projects, it's important that clients know that I own the business but that I'm not the only one at Not Your Average Law Firm.


Get in Touch with Our Guest

Jodi Brandon, owner of Jodi Brandon Editorial
Connect with Jodi on Instagram @jodibrandoneditorial


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