Howto & Style

What If You Get Sick – Solid Advice In Case Of Emergency

March 15, 2020

Carey is an official coach of Cupcake Trainings. Find more of her at


Recent events in the news have had me thinking about the what-ifs in my small business. Specifically, what if I get sick, like really sick? I have two kids at home, one with an autoimmune disease. We’re not panicking, but thinking head to prepare for some eventualities. Perhaps you have too. Odds are at some point, we’ll get sick whether it’s a bad virus, flu, etc. And, odds are pretty good we might be down for a few days or even a couple of weeks. So what do we do if we get sick?

We need contingency plans.

I would recommend taking a few hours, or even a day, and writing down some ‘in case of emergency’ swipe files. What things will you need to account for?

1) you are bedridden and can’t ship anything
2) You’ve been exposed and need to self-quarantine
3) You’re highly contagious and need to alert customers who’ve bought from you within the last few weeks (Covid-19 is reported to live up to several days on surfaces)*
4) You’re just a few days behind and need to extend shipping times
5) No one else can make your products, and you will need several weeks – be realistic, but give yourself a bit of extra time to make sure you fully recover and don’t burn out

Who can you trust to run your business?

A best friend? A spouse? An older child? You’ll need someone who can follow video instructions to send out emails and contact your current customers.

What videos will you need?

1) How to access your email systems
2)How to access your website and/or Etsy shop and orders
3) Where to find your swipe files to send out
4) How to post on your social media accounts
5) How to put your shops into vacation mode (or update your sites with notices about extended shipping times)
6) How to sanitize your products

By being prepared now, we can feel secure that our business will be ok, even if we’re not.

I’ve included a couple of swipes below to help you get started.

Dear Customer

First I would like to extend my thanks again for your order, it was very much appreciated.

However, I have recently become ill with [insert sickness if appropriate] and this has slowed down my turn around times.

At this time, I expect your order will be shipping between [date] and [date].

If this causes any inconvenience, I will be happy to refund you. Please just reply back and I will refund you as soon as I’m able.

Coronavirus specific swipe:

Dear Customer,
You recently ordered from our shop (thank you!) and I wanted to make you aware that someone in our small family run business has been diagnosed with Covid-19. This is not a reason to panic, but it is a reason for caution.

Here’s how you can keep your item safe/sanitary: [include instructions here for your product]

Here’s a website that talks about how the virus can stay alive for up to several days on a surface. Here’s what you can do:…/2019-…/about/prevention-treatment.html. [or insert other link here]

Here’s what you can do if you are panicking and you want to return the item for a refund: [add return policy link or instructions here]

Thanks for understanding that we are human and we are all in this keeping each other healthy thing together.

Stay healthy!

I hope this helps you 🙂

* edited because of conflicting info here – truth is, no one knows yet, so just exercise caution