LeashTime is available more than 99% of the time, so many businesses have come to rely on it for their day-to-day operations. But what happens when you cannot reach LeashTime? How can you continue serving your customers when you have no internet connectivity or cell service? What about when the power goes out? Here are a few ideas to help you keep operating smoothly when the unexpected happens.
Keep Your Schedule At Hand
You can set up LeashTime to email you the Master Schedule for your business early each day. The period of time covers the current day and up to 14 days in the future, hopefully, long enough to get you past any short-term emergency. You can choose which admin staff receives the schedule. The schedule itself shows the time, client, service type, and note for each visit each day, grouped by the sitter. See ADMIN > Preferences > Sitter Schedule Notifications.
Keep Your Client Data at Hand
The Master Schedule tells you what needs to get done, but it does not give you all of the information you might need to serve your clients, so it is a good idea to have your client list on hand. You can export your client list from ADMIN > Reports. We recommend using ADMIN > Reports > [ Exports (XML Spreadsheet) ] > Clients / Pets (separate sheets), which includes pet data as well as client data. It’s not a bad idea to do this periodically, in case of unexpected emergencies, but before a looming event such as a storm, it is wise to take a few minutes to gather the latest information before the worst hits.
Bear in mind that to use this client data you will need a spreadsheet program like Microsoft Excel. If you don’t have a spreadsheet program, we recommend any of a number of free open source programs such as LibreOffice Calc (https://www.libreoffice.org/). LibreOffice can be downloaded for free and runs on Windows, Macs, Android, and Linux computers. It even has versions that will run from a USB drive (no installation required on your computer).
If you are not familiar with LibreOffice Calc, it operates very much like Microsoft Excel. There are plenty of tutorials (google “LibreOffice calc tutorials”) to help you get started.
Responding to Different Emergencies
There are minor emergencies in life, like losing your keys, and then there are major emergencies like losing your house. But whatever kind you face, you still have to get on with things. For minor business emergencies, it is smart to follow the advice outlined above. With the Master Schedule in your email and a copy of the client list, you can probably run your business when your office loses internet connectivity.
But what about when everyone’s internet is down (think: major storm)? To be prepared for that you will want to make sure your Master Schedule is downloaded from your email account to a local device (phone/tablet/computer) along with your Client List are before the storm hits.
What about when everyone’s internet is down and you have no electricity? There are even ways to deal with this: printing out the Master Schedule and Client List is one way. Another way is to have a device such as a tablet or phone with a long battery life and access to chargers (such as your car’s device charger). It may not be very fun to work with a spreadsheet on a tablet, but it is better than nothing, and possibly preferable to using paper copies for everything.
We all help our clients care for their pets while they are at school or work, or away on vacation. But even though we may cancel regular service when the weather is dangerous, we can still sometimes help them out when they cannot get to their pets to give them care. At times like that, having access to client information can be crucial. So the next time you are checking your stock of canned food or testing the flashlight batteries before an oncoming storm, consider reviewing your data disaster preparedness and taking a few minutes to ensure you are ready to help your clients.
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