Have you ever thought about what you will do when you need to take time away from your online business because you are ill? Will your downtime result in a stumbling block to business? What about times when you will be taking a vacation, will your site continue to sell without your guidance?
There are a lot of individuals that involve themselves in online business and never even think about what will happen in those downtimes. This is especially true if you are the decision maker/product fulfillment director. When you do it all sometimes it doesn't all get done.
Some online businesses plan for this eventuality in one of two ways. They might develop an online product that is simply subjected to an automated download code sent by autoresponder. In this case the product is not a tangible asset, but rather one that is either informational (think ebook) or entertaining (think video game). The second way for a business to operate without your direct involvement is by basing your online business on an affiliate revenue sharing program. By making your online business a portal to a comprehensive selection of other online businesses that will pay you for customers who come to their site through yours you can successfully gain income without the need to be physically present to manage day-to-day aspects of the business.
If your business does depend on you being closely connected with day-to-day operations you might consider training a family member of friend to manage some operations of the business in emergency situations.
A much less desirable, but sometimes necessary option is to simply use an autoresponder to let prospective clients know you are engaged in a time of sick leave, but will respond as soon as possible. You could also make a note on your home page about your unavailability. Typically this results in a quick exit for prospects, but it may be required from time to time.
Some actions of business can be delayed a few hours or possibly a day or two, but using a trusted family member or friend to help you when you need to take time off may be the better alternative to ensuring happy customers.
In fact, in a best-case scenario no customers should ever be able to tell that you weren't there. You can work to seamlessly create a behind the scenes contingency plan to allow customers uninterrupted service and product access.
If you own a business blog there are some services that can allow you to predate blog posts that can be published in your absence. This can be especially helpful in circumstances where you have planned getaways. Your blog readers will not typically have any idea that you didn't actually post the same day they read it. This and other automated functions can allow you to manage those times when being away from your online business is unavoidable.
By taking the time to plan ahead now you can avoid some of the questions that will be raised when you know you have to be away from your computer.