Let’s talk backup. Since the early days of the word processor and computer, backing up our work has been necessary. We’ve been trained by our own bad experiences, or the experiences of other unfortunate users, that without backing up, a lot of our hard work can go down the drain in just a split second. Anyone who is old enough to know what a word processor is, knows the pain of which I speak. Term papers, reports and spreadsheets gone in the blink of an eye!
In the early days, those of us who are over (well, let’s just say more seasoned vets) remember that back ups were done manually. Today, we have computers that will automatically back up our work as we go along. We are even able to go in and override the default settings to have our work saved more often if needed. Even my WordPress account that I use as both a blog and as my website has an auto save feature to help keep me from losing my changes!
If you can’t already tell, I think backing-up is a wonderful thing. All of us use it to one degree or another and it is not necessarily isolated to computers. I get backup reminders in the mail when my car tags and driver’s licenses are coming due, notices that I need to renew my TRAMS or ClientBase subscriptions, and even get some back up reminders from vendors that final payment is coming due.
In my office, I find that I like to backup there too. I always feel most comfortable when someone else knows what I’m working on and how to access the information when I’m not available. But when you’re an Independent Contractor who works alone, you don’t always have that luxury.
If you are affiliated with a host agency, you may be able to have them answer the phone for you when you’re traveling, but what about those agents who are truly Independent? What plan do they have? Is the plan different when traveling vs. when you or a family member is in the hospital? In this digital age, it’s so easy to work remotely from anywhere, but what if you’re just not able to work?
I do have an agent as a backup whose business doesn’t directly compete with mine and lives in another part of the country. I have worked with her in the past; and I like and respect her level of service and her knowledge of the travel industry. From time to time we will “cover” for each other when we know we are truly going to be out of pocket.
So what’s your backup plan? I’d love to hear about how you’ve taken steps to make sure you’re covered when you’re truly unavailable. And if you don’t have a backup, you need to figure out how to get one, because one day, your system might go down, the power might go out or you may have a personal crisis to attend to.
Remember, you’ve worked too hard to let your work go down the drain in a split!
Trish Gastineau, CTC is the owner of Simply Europe Travel who is passionate about her craft; especially Europe and River Cruises! She was recognized as the #1 Selling River Cruise Specialist for 2011 with Avalon Waterways as well as participating in several of their training webinars. She has been in the Travel Industry since 1993 and hails most recently from Montgomery, Alabama. Learn more about Trish at: www.simplyeuropetravel.com or contact her by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.