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Military reservists have a slew of details to mind when they get the call to duty, but small business owners face particularly tough challenges. Not only must these men and women make sure all is in order before they deploy, they also must decide how to keep operations going in their absence.
Fortunately, organizations such as the U.S. Small Business Administration, SCORE (Senior Corps of Retired Executives) and various business and industry analysts provide a wealth of helpful information to entrepreneurs heading for active duty - including detailed operational strategies to keep their companies thriving for the duration.
Holding Down the Fort
Advice for keeping a company afloat during the owner's absence abounds, with Internet sites, magazine articles and entire books devoted to the subject. From this bewildering welter of words, one clear message comes through: Make arrangements to protect the company BEFORE donning that uniform.
Legal, administrative, financial and staffing provisions properly and systematically addressed can ensure a firm's viability throughout the owner's deployment. So if you're anticipating a military stint, consider these practical suggestions:
These loans cover only necessary obligations until operations return to normal. They do not apply to lost income, lost profits, refinance of long-term debt or business expansion.
Finally, make sure you review all business measures you have taken with a trusted family member or friend – particularly if you have no partners to step in. Situations occur where decisions must be made, even if you are out of reach.