Small business owners who serve in the National Guard or Reserves should take certain steps to keep their companies running smoothly during deployment.
As a member of the National Guard or Reserve you are a critical and important part of the U.S. Military – making up roughly 38% of it. You’re vital to our country’s success in protecting our nation, but you also need to pursue your private sector opportunities.
It’s never easy to own your own business while you are in the National Guard or Reserves, but it is possible. When I get asked for help in these situations I often refer people to the Small Business Association’s resource guide for ‘Balancing Business and Deployment.’ Here are some of the best tips from this guide that I find myself repeatedly sharing with Guard and Reserve members:
- Choose a new manager. Assuming you sustain your business operations during your deployment, you will need to assign a key manager to fill in your role while you are gone. This new manager will act on your behalf, making all the business decisions you normally would. Inform them on all the ins and outs of your business, and then make sure your team knows this new manager has final say while you are gone.
- Meet with your employees. Discuss your deployment with them openly. Make sure employees understand their roles and are trained on any new responsibilities they may need to take on in your absence. Finally, assign key tasks to each employee.
- Inform your clients. Make sure you personally speak with each of your clients and let them know of your deployment. Discuss with them how things will run and introduce them to the new acting manager. Be sure to address any of their concerns on the spot while ensuring things will continue to run smoothly.
- Speak to a lawyer. There are many accidents that can occur on a job, whether you are there or not. So, before your departure make sure to talk to an attorney about if you need to adjust your insurance and if you should establish powers of attorney to one or more key employees—allowing that employee to act as your legal agent while you are deployed.
As a National Guard or Reserve member, it is tough to keep your business going while deployed, but it can be done. Check out these additional resources offered by the SBA to help you manage in this unique situation.
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