Hello friends, Romans and fellow freelancers. As Matt mentioned yesterday, hurricane season has begun. If you, like me, live along the southern coast you’re likely dusting off your hurricane shutters and stocking up on water. As business owners who run businesses out of our homes, we have a different set of concerns that we also must consider in the event that a hurricane evacuation takes us away from our home base or a loss of electricity makes running a business from home a near impossibility. So here are just a couple of tips to help you get through hurricane season without missing deadlines and or losing out on potential business.
- Get a laptop. If you don’t already have a laptop, you need one. They work on battery, are portable and take away almost any excuse to miss a deadline.
- Get extra laptop batteries. You should turn your screen light down low so that you aren’t using up your juice too quickly, but if your city is anything like mine during hurricane season, then who knows how many hours you’ll be without power as a category 1 traipses through. An extra laptop battery (or two) can really save your hide.
- Save the data from your main computer onto an external hard drive. If you save your work files on an external hard drive then you can access them on your laptop if you are evacuated or lose power and can't use your main computer.
- Save a copy of your emails on the mail server. I know everyone is all anti-Yahoo mail all the time, but I love it because I can get my mail anywhere I go. I pay for my Yahoo mail so they send a copy of all my emails to my Outlook inbox, but I can still access them online from another computer. If you lose access to your main computer, then you can't get to Outlook and you may not be able to access emails with assignments, client requests, etc., so you need to find out how to save a copy of your mail on the actual mail server. It is important to note that the system may not save your sent messages, so you might want to BCC yourself on important stuff during hurricane season.
- Forward your calls to your cell. This is a problem for me because I *gasp* don’t have a cell phone. I also take a horse and buggy to the grocery store, so deal with it. However, since I get business calls through Google Voice, I can have them forwarded to a hotel or any other phone number. I can also access voicemails online so any incoming customer inquiry can still be handled as though it's a regular work day. Find out from your phone company how you can set up call forwarding or get Google Voice, Skype or some other online phone service.
That's all I can think of right now. Feel free to add your input below so this can be a one-stop resource for other writers!