Many of you have been in this situation before: you have your workweek all planned out, you know exactly what you’re going to do and exactly when you’re going to do it. Everything is going right according to plan.
Or, so you thought.
Suddenly and without warning, a single event can change everything. Before you know it your entire week is turned upside down. What you thought you could do when you planned your week is no longer be possible.
It really doesn’t even matter what the event is. Many things can go wrong when you freelance. Here are just a few:
- You could receive an urgent phone call from a sick friend or relative
- The power and/or internet connect go out
- You could wake up in the morning as sick as a dog
- An accident could damage your car, your home, or (heaven forbid) you
- Your computer could suddenly quit working
You name it, and it’s possible (and even likely) that something will eventually go wrong and mess up your plans. I’m sure that you can think of disruptive events that aren’t even on my list.
This is where a backup plan comes in.
Key Components of a Business Backup Plan
While it’s tempting to think that your schedule isn’t likely to be disrupted, and that creating a backup plan is a waste of time, consider this: nearly everyone eventually faces some type of problem that has the potential to disrupt his or her work schedule.
Creating a backup plan can be looked at as an investment against those times. Here are some key components to include in your business backup plan:
- Data backup — How often do you back up your work? Is your data backup on your computer, or at another location? How much work or business information would you lose if your computer went down?
- Netbook or laptop — Do you have a mobile computer that you can use to access public WiFi spots if your Internet or electricity stops working? Do you have a list of WiFi spots near you?
- Client information — Do you have an offline copy of your client contact information that you can use to contact your clients in case of an emergency?
- Peers who may be able to pinch hit for you — It’s not a bad idea to network with peers and arrange to “cover” for them in case of an emergency if they agree to “cover” for you. (Of course, payment details will have to be worked out accordingly.)
- Professional advisors — Do you know who you would turn to if you had a financial problem? Who would you turn to if you had a legal problem? It’s a good idea to select a few qualified professional advisors in advance of an actual problem rather than rushing to find an advisor after trouble has struck.
- Mentors — Do you have a more experienced colleague who can serve as a mentor if you are faced with a difficult project? Mentors can help you tackle difficult questions in your own profession and give you industry specific advice.
Share Your Experiences
Do you have a backup plan for your business? What components are in your backup plan?
Have you ever experienced an emergency situation like we described above? Were you prepared?
Leave a comment and share your thoughts.