Businesses are a complex mass of inter-dependent pieces working together to deliver
goods and services. When crisis hits, these pieces can shatter if there isn’t a plan in
place. If a key person were to be metaphorically hit by a bus, the whole business could
implode. Having an identifiable location where vital information is coordinated and
stored will make it possible for your business to function in your absence.
Creating a hit-by-a-bus file can save your business during a crisis. Creating a file with
important information means your business can continue operating despite a setback. A
hit-by-a-bus file can be as minimal or detailed as you need for the efficiency of your
business. Typically, a file will include:
Important contact information
Account and password information
Policies and procedures
Directives for crisis management
Being able to access important information can help those who step in to manage your
business during a crisis and avoid interruptions. From a brief illness to incapacity,
knowing someone else can step in can keep your customers served and income flowing
into your account is great peace of mind.
Here are some Dos and Don’ts for creating a hit-by-a-bus file
Do: Put someone in charge of the file. Be sure to find someone trustworthy to access
the file in your absence. Share the vital information inside the file with them ahead of
time to allow them to ask clarifying questions. Be sure they know where to access the
file and create any legal means for them to operate on your behalf.
Do: Have an electronic and a hard copy of the file. Ensure nothing is left to chance by
making sure there is an electronic and physical record of the file. This will reduce the
chance of access being denied or important information being lost.
Don’t: Leave important information out. Be sure to consider all aspects of your business
and make sure there is a clear path for someone to take in your absence. You know
your business inside and out but it’s important to look at things from the point of view of
the person you’ve chosen to help during a crisis. Make sure the information is thorough
and everything they need is in the file.
Don’t: Minimize the value of the file. Taking the time to secure your business in case of
a crisis is worth the effort. Knowing your business can continue and thrive even when
you can’t be there can keep income flowing and customers being served. Don’t put off
creating a hit-by-a-bus file until it’s too late.
Note- Be sure to have your vendors, assistants, and other team members create files
that make it possible for you to continue your work if something happens to them as
well. Being able to pick up the slack means you won’t be in a lurch if they can’t perform
You can safeguard your business from being shut down if you are injured or ill. Creating
a hit-by-a-bus file can help others step in on your behalf if you face a crisis. Keeping a
file ready and designating the right person to operate on your behalf can make all the
difference when you need support.