8 July 2019 | 13 Comments
I think this is going to be a bit of a weird (and slightly morbid) post, but we’ll see how it goes.
I’m writing this because there are tons of companies (crowdfunding and otherwise) who are run by one person. That person is responsible for their backers, customers, clients, and independent contractors. They alone have access to the files, financial accounts, emails, and creative assets that are interconnected with all those other people.
So what happens if that person gets hit by a bus tomorrow?
I know, it’s morbid. But because of a lone creator’s level of responsibility to so many people, I think it’s important to think about this just in case. The methods I mention below may not work for you at all, and that’s fine–it’s still worth taking a few minutes to really consider what would happen if you are suddenly unable to do anything for your company.
Here’s a few considerations and how I’ve approached them:
- Access to email and files: I’ve provided my business partner with a few key passwords to get into my computer and email accounts.
- Access to financials and ecommerce: While my computer saves some of my passwords, I don’t autosave passwords to the most important accounts. Rather, I have a separate, password-protected file that contains those passwords, and my business partner knows where that file is and how to access it. The key part of this is that I actually keep that file up to date.
- Investors and ownership: Written into our operating agreement is a clearly defined explanation of what happens if I’m no longer alive to enjoy the benefits of my shares in Stonemaier.
If you don’t have a business partner, you might instead select someone (a spouse or good friend) to be the executor of your hit-by-a-bus plan. I have something like that built into my will and trust.
I truly hope that your hit-by-a-bus plan (and mine) never requires action. But I’d rather be prepared, especially given what I feel is a huge responsibility to my customers, clients, and contractors, even postmortem.
What’s your hit-by-a-bus plan? What aspects am I overlooking?
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