What’s In Your Office Emergency Kit?
In life and in business, things go wrong sometimes! But, rather than waiting for things to happen and then screaming at the top of your lungs when they do, prepare for them and make circumventing them less stressful. It’s damage control! Every successful business has a contingency plan. If you don’t have one yet, you need to get one.
Trust me, the future you will thank you for it!
Here are five things you need in your office emergency kit:
1. A spare laptop. If your laptop or computer were to suddenly stop working, you need to have a backup on standby that you can whip out to get you back up and running. I mean, there’s always the internet café, but this is 2022 – nobody uses those anymore. It doesn’t need to be anything fancy; just something that does what it says on the tin. It’s just a backup, after all. I got mine for £200 on sale at the online HP store.
Once you have your back-up laptop, try to mirror your existing computer as best possible by installing the same software and plug-ins that you currently use. This way, if the worst were to happen, you’d be able to get back up and running in as little time as possible!
2. Data back-ups. What’s the use of having a spare laptop if you can’t access your valuable data from it? It’s important to have your data backed up, so that you can retrieve your files and pick up where you left off before the dreaded incident.
I keep my files backed up in two places: Google Drive, as part of my Google Workspace subscription, and also through a subscription service called Backblaze. It has a small monthly fee of $7 per month; well worth the easy retrieval of mine and my clients’ information.
3. A spare phone. Having a spare phone means that, even when you go offline, you can at least let your clients and colleagues know what’s happening and they can keep in touch with you. There’s nothing worse than feeling disconnected from the rest of the world when it’s not your intention to be.
The next time you upgrade your phone, put your old one somewhere safe for those “just in case” scenarios. Alternatively, you can buy an inexpensive smartphone that can handle the basics (WhatsApp, internet access, etc.). This way, you can at least keep things moving, even if at a slower pace for now.
4. “Emergency” out of office template. Some time ago, one of my clients was completely unreachable, which was unusual for him. When I did finally hear from him (a day later), he informed me that he had, unfortunately, been hit with the Nora virus, leaving him unable to even compose an email.
I pray that this never happens to you, as it sounds dreadful. But, putting a simple template together for situations such as this can be a great help for both you and your clients. When needed, you simply click to compose a new email, select the template and send it to your pre-stored group of clients or colleagues. This saves you the agony of having to compose it yourself, whilst keeping those that need to know well informed. Gmail, Outlook and other well-known email applications have this time-saving template feature.
5. Business insurance! Just like car insurance (although, nowhere near as expensive!), business insurance is there to save you from having to fork out thousands if a claim is brought against your business. I’m insured with Markel direct. Thankfully, I’ve never had to make a claim before, but they have a great reputation and are flexible, as far as insurance companies go.
The best time to get insurance is as soon as you start trading or working with your first client. Who knows what’s around the corner! Click here to see how easy and affordable business insurance can be.
Having these five things in your office emergency kit will help safeguard you and your business and save you a lot of time, headache, and your business reputation in the long run when things go wrong. Don’t leave it to chance – start assembling your office emergency kit today. As I’m sure we’ve all heard before, “prevention is always better than cure.”
I know that’s right!