This week, the United States crossed the 4 million mark of people who’ve tested positive for COVID-19. Worldwide, there are 15.5 million who’ve contracted the disease. These are staggering numbers. Even as many of us are doing our best to minimize transmission of the virus, it’s spreading at an unprecedented rate.
Over the past few months, you’ve likely enacted many changes at your self-storage business. Perhaps you’ve added plexiglass partitions to protect staff and customers, require everyone wears a mask while on the property, or turned to contactless rentals to give tenants more options. There’s also the constant sanitation, plus keeping an eye on legal mandates that could affect whether your site remains open, and if you can move forward with late fees and lien sales. Through it all, there’s a constant worry that you, a family member or friend, or an employee will test positive for the virus. It’s been a trying few months, to say the least.
While you’re likely doing what you can to minimize the chance of infection, you must consider that you could become ill with the coronavirus or need to leave work to care for a family member who’s infected. Will your business be able to operate without you? What if you’re away for two weeks? What if it’s two months? Even though you’ve made a lot of changes over the past few months, you need to consider what’ll happen to your business if you’re unable to lead it.
First, you can’t be the only person who knows everything about your self-storage business. Whether it’s staff you’ve trained to step in if you’re indisposed, your spouse or life partner, a business partner, friend, or attorney, someone other than you needs to know the details of your operation. This includes specifics about contracts with vendors, the business’ insurance policy and company finances. Be sure to provide important contact information, and login or passwords if necessary.
You also need a plan—and it should be in writing. This will guide the person in charge on how to operate the business as you would in your absence. Think about all your responsibilities and determine who’ll take over and how it’ll be done. You might even split these tasks among several people. Also, consider the legal aspects of putting others in charge. When ceding control, you might need a legal document so the appointee has the authority to execute these decisions on your behalf. Consider any future obligations you have as well.
It’s vital that you communicate often with everyone involved, particularly your employees. Tell them about your plans and address their concerns. In addition, you need to take all the necessary steps recommended by health officials, including sanitation and reporting.
Even if you’re taking precautions to minimize your risk of exposure to COVID-19, it’s possible you could still become infected. There’s also the chance of another ailment or injury that could pull you away from work. Make sure your self-storage business is protected just in case something happens.