The blizzard of 2012 has come and gone. Seven inches of snow buried Indianapolis and left most of us stranded at home. While some businesses are still playing catch up, Roundpeg barely missed a beat. How did we do it? Equal parts technology, planning and communication.

How we got ready for the storm:

  1. Copied critical files to Dropbox. We often use this tool to share large files with clients. It’s really handy when they want to send us lots of photos to be used in their web design. As we got ready for the storm, it was an ideal way to be sure the files we needed most could be accessed from anywhere.
  2. Made a list of all the most important passwords so we could access our key programs and client websites and social networks.
  3. Contacts updated in AddressTwo. Contact information for all clients, prospects and friends are stored in AddressTwo. Since it’s a cloud software product, all 5,641 of Roundpeg’s contacts are at everyone’s fingertips. Because this is a true CRM, it contains conversation history as well. With copies of emails from different team members, it’s easy for any of us to pick up where someone else left off with a client.
  4. Skype, JoinMe and GoToMeeting. Although members of our team were stranded around the country, we all talked as needed throughout the day. Conference calls and training sessions with clients went on as planned with the help of these easy screen sharing and video conferencing tools.
  5. Advanced planning. As the predictions for a winter storm became clearer, we talked about what tasks could be accomplished easily from home. Jenna worked on a new brochure for us, Tamre dove into AdWords for two new clients, and I knocked out  three weeks worth of email newsletters. Heading into our busy season, it’s nice to have these things out of the way, and the blizzard gave us the opportunity to get ahead.
  6. G-Chat, DMs and short phone calls. Even in the office, it’s often easier to G-Chat than yell across the room or the building, so conversations carried on as if we were sitting side by side. With a team of professionals, there isn’t a lot of hands-on managing required, so brief check- in calls was all that we needed to answer any lingering questions.

Days like this remind me why we don’t work virtually all the time. It’s more fun when we are together. I missed out cat video intermission today. I also missed being able to brainstorm with the team, but for one or two days, it was a nice change of pace. We got work done and our clients never knew we were gone.

Can your business run with no one in the office? With a little planning and smart use of technology, it’s easier than you think.

photo credit: InAweofGod’sCreation via photopin cc