No one likes to think about the long list of bad things that can happen at any given time. Natural disasters, disease, serious injury and more can threaten the long-term operation of your stable. Contingency planning helps you prepare for an unanticipated event and can help your business survive the unexpected.
“It’s scary to think about the what-ifs. You can’t prepare for everything, but you have to cover some basics to make it a little easier when something unexpected happens,” said Bette Brand, chief sales officer/external affairs for Farm Credit of the Virginias.
A comprehensive contingency plan is broad and covers all aspects of the business, including maintenance to equipment and facilities.
Creating a safety net—a savings account—can serve as one contingency plan for unexpected maintenance expenses. Initially, the savings can be as little as $5 or $10 a week and might mean cutting out a cup of coffee or something else out once a week.
Automatic banking makes it easy to set aside money in a separate account. Set up a weekly, bi-weekly or monthly transfer of a set figure from your main account into a secondary account. When the money is “taken off the top,” you’ll be less likely to miss it.
Although it takes time to build, in the course of a year, that $10 per week saved equates to $520 in a year. Over three years, that’s $1,560. While it might not seem substantial, when you finally do need to use, it can save hundreds of dollars to pay cash rather than to put expenses on a credit card.
Insurance is another option to consider as a contingency plan. It can be worth the seemingly costly premiums to know that insurance helps close the gap during an unplanned event. While the premiums seem expensive, when it’s time to write out the check in the event of a catastrophe, you’ll be thankful to have it cover the bills.