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For Unexpected Events, Get Expert Outside Help

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Many small businesses outsource tasks outside their expertise, such as accounting, payroll, IT and web hosting. Outsourced work can be steady, occasional or seasonal depending on the nature of your business. But there are times when businesses, particularly small businesses, face an unexpected events that their staff or consultants are unable to handle. In the event of unplanned challenges or even emergency situations that require expert services, consider using outside resources.

Turn to Virtual Assistants for Special or Emergency Projects

If you already employ one or more virtual assistants to handle routine work such as answering emails and phone calls, scheduling and data entry, you already have a great resource. Now imagine that a customer has asked you to handle a special order with a fast turnaround that requires more work than you usually need from your virtual assistant. Many virtual assistants are used to working flexible hours and will go the extra mile to help out. Contemporary VA has a large team of Virtual Assistants that can be utilized in just such cases when additional resources are needed for quick turnaround projects. They are often exposed to a wide variety of businesses and can quickly identify resources to provide expert services you might need.

Few things are more alarming for your business than an emergency. You can prepare your business to withstand a hurricane, for example, but earthquakes aren’t forecasted. You can be the best boss in the world, but employees can leave without notice, or get sick or injured and unable to report to work. Even with security in place, work site break-ins happen. If your emergency is related to a natural disaster, turn to your trusty virtual assistant to help you identify a temporary office or handle the extra paperwork required by your insurance company.

Outsource Seasonal Services

If you run a seasonal business, consider outsourcing administrative services such as accounting and payroll. For example, large retailers who hire extra help during the busy holiday shopping season are prepared for a wave of new hires. But as a small business, this could create long hours and stress for your internal bookkeeper or HR manager. Turn to payroll services for small businesses like those offered by Intuit.com and others. The extra strain on your staff is eliminated and you might end up landing on a service that you utilize for years to come.

Get Expert Outside Help to Resolve High-Level Problems

Let’s say your website has been breached and customer information likely compromised. Even if you outsource web hosting as suggested by the Fox Business Small Business Center—and data security is part and parcel of this arrangement—you still have a huge problem on your hands. Many small businesses haven’t planned for data or security emergencies. One survey found that 83% of small businesses do not have a cybersecurity plan, and another 60% admitted that they don’t know how they would handle security breaches.

It’s possible to develop your own data security and recovery plan, but this requires an in-depth understanding, training and planning. Since you have customers whose data may have been compromised, consider consulting with a data security expert to work with your web host and devise a response plan for your company—don’t rely on your web host alone. At the very least, state law may require you to notify customers who may be impacted by the breach. Later, your consultant can work with you to develop effective data security and recovery plans for your business, and perhaps recommend a stronger web host.

Author’s Bio

Michael Adams: Michael is a business writer and kite surfing enthusiast from Oregon.
Posted on November 20th, 2013 by Rachel Braam, Office Manager

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