Virtual Assistant Contingency Plans

Be prepared for the worst

Something like an earthquake took place in my computer system last week.

The image on my computer screen started shaking up and down – this was all I needed: a technological breakdown, when I had a pile of work to do.

It took me ages to figure out what the problem was… and when I did, a little advance planning from a long time ago really paid off.

After unplugging everything and switching things on and off, I finally realised the problem was being caused by my wireless keyboard and mouse. Luckily, I had a spare keyboard and mouse stashed away.

They’re old, there are wires everywhere, and I’ve had to rearrange my desk to accommodate the new system – but at least I can continue working, and business carries on.

It got me thinking about business contingency – what would you do if your electricity or internet connection went down, your computer died on you, there was a flood in your home, or you were struck down by illness or an accident?

Contingency planning is not a one-off job, it’s something you can be continually improving on. Here are a few measures you could take, that your future self will thank you for.

  • Suss out a local cafe, library, or even an understanding neighbour’s home where you could take your laptop and phone, and carry on working.
  • A back-up dongle is ideal for emergency internet access – a pay-as-you-go one will cost less than £20 to buy, and then nothing until you need it.
  • Backing up your important business files goes without saying (right!?) but don’t forget your contacts, online diary, saved passwords and email folders. I keep all my important files backed up on the internet, and use a hosted exchange server to run Outlook online.
  • Research and create a list of emergency phone numbers of trusted experts you can call on to deal with anything from an IT disaster to a home emergency.
  • Check your insurance is up-to-date and covers you adequately for everything from professional mishaps to theft, sickness and accidental damage.

I am sure that there are lots of other top tips on what to do in a ‘working from home’ emergency. Drop me a line and let me know what they are, you never know I might need them soon enough…..

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