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Control What You Can: Review and Prepare in Advance

Towards the end of the year, I tend to reflect on how the year went as a business owner, but also, what can I do to prepare for the best next year. With so much outside of our control these days, let's talk about what we can control!

What can you do to create a great year with some advanced planning? It is a team effort!

I work with my clients initially to get insurance policies set up; either for themselves or for the whole family. Once we set up the coverage, we meet annually to catch up to chat, cover and questions, update addresses and so on. Most of the time, I hear the same thing from everyone, that life is so busy and that they often feel unorganized.

If you think of your household as a business and that if the owner, that is a good place to start. Once you have that mindset, think about the "what ifs" in the event someone gets sick or has an unexpected catastrophe; can the team survive without you? Did you prepare them for where to find the resources necessary to keep the business afloat?

I believe it is a responsibility that we all have to prepare our loved ones for the unexpected and the best way to do that is to get organized!

For example, I have a master emergency contact list and policy summary HERE that will allow for a client to log their policy details here. If you review 'The Checklist' and realize, that you don't know enough of the answers to be able to complete this yourself, then you are in need of this company aka Family Audit. Now is the time to get organized!

Pro Tips

Get into the habit to do a quarterly audit. What you will be doing here is creating a Master Survival Kit for your business that you can share with those who are important to you - your spouse and other family members involved. By delegating those to the details, you can give them access so that if they need to find something, they know what to do and where to find the documents needed to work through a specific situation at hand.

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Start a general folder on your drive or cloud that will be the master folder

  2. Create subfolders for each category and decide who needs access to which folder

  3. Share the folders with those and let them know why they have access

  4. Prepare an emergency contact list and an item list, that is shared between the users

  5. Start scanning and logging instructions on a master spreadsheet or on the same master item list

Folder One:

This general folder is going to resemble the top of an organizational chart for a company. This is the master category and may just be your family's name.

Folder Two:

These subfolders can be thought of as projects. You may have to take certain weekends to spend some time without any other personal obligations to sort through your personal documents and allow yourself some time to focus and think about this process. Then you should figure out, which project is the priority for the time you have available that day and complete your task. Just like we do the scramble around tax time, you focus and get your documents logged and submitted for your tax return so think of this the same way. Gather all policies, important documents, receipts and start with the paperless project of the week/end or month. It may be painful but worth it in the long run!

Folder Three:

You can give your emergency contacts access by sharing specific folders with them. While managing your projects, be sure to keep your confidential documents out of these subfolders. Similar to having an employee, be mindful of who will get access to what.

Folder Four:

Before cell phones, we had landlines and post-its, address books and/or a list on the fridge of who to contact. A lot has changed since then thankfully but if something happened to you, would your spouse, kid or parent know who to contact for your disability claim or worse? So many spouses reported to me that they don't know where certain documents are located. These folders and contact list will solve this problem.

Folder Five:

Get to work! This won't be fun initially and many of you will put this off. I promise, once you get rolling and scanning and logging, this will feel good and you can feel good about the fact that you are transferring stress away from a potential future situation and making tasks easier for yourself and those around you, by getting organized.


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