How owners handle business when they’re sick

January 21, 2013 

Shop Talk reporter Virginia Bridges asked small business owners in Cary how they handle business when they get sick. This is what they said.

•  “As a small business owner, being sick and having to be away from the office can be a challenge,” said J. Blake Smith, president of Smith & Smith, an 18-year-old professional business and accounting services firm. “However, we’ve hired the right mix of people in our CPA firm, so I am confident that if I have to take a day or two home in bed to get better, that our office will still be able to run smoothly and none of our clients’ needs will go unmet. It’s all about having the right people working with you.”

•  “I conduct a lot of business over the computer and the phone, so I can typically still work,” Tim Devinney, principal broker with the 8-year-old firm Mission Possible Team Realty. “I am an independent business person, and I don’t get sick days.”

•  “I crawl in bed and take some Tylenol,” said Beth Donner, owner of Diversified Planning, an 18-year-old health care and insurance consulting firm.

•  “When all above fails, you must have someone in your business who you can trust to carry on every important function in your absence,” said Paul Ashworth, pharmacist and owner of Ashworth Drugs, a downtown Cary drugstore that opened in 1957. “Luckily I have an excellent business partner.”

Ashworth said he gets a flu shot every year and requires all key employees to do the same. He also doesn’t share phones or computers with employees who are sick, and he is quick to wash his hands or use hand sanitizer after interacting with sick people.

•  “I work from home,” said Kathy Burns, with the 15-year-old consulting and accounting firm Burns & Bynum.

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