Empowering the Freelance Economy

National emergency? Run your business on analogue

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When disaster strikes, such as a national emergency, the digital world can quickly become unreliable. For freelancers who depend on the internet for their livelihoods, a national emergency could spell catastrophe. But what if there were ways to keep your business running even when the power grid fails and the Wi-Fi goes down? Or a major cyberattack impacts our ability to work and access money.

In this article, we’ll explore the surprising power of analogue tools and techniques to help freelancers weather any storm. From low-tech communication methods to offline project management strategies, we’ll uncover the essential items to keep your freelance business afloat even when the digital world goes dark. Get ready to discover the resilience of the analogue in an increasingly digital age.

In an era of digital reliance, a national emergency can throw a wrench into the gears of a freelancer’s workflow. While cloud services and online platforms may falter, having a few key analogue tools can make the difference between business survival and stagnation.

Essential Analogue Toolkit for the Prepared Freelancer:

  1. Paper and Pen: The foundation of analog communication and record-keeping. A sturdy notebook and a reliable pen are essential for jotting down ideas, client contact information, project details, and even simple to-do lists.
  2. Physical Calendar/Planner: A paper calendar or planner helps you track deadlines, meetings, and appointments without relying on digital reminders.
  3. Printed Client Contacts, Contracts and Invoices: Having physical copies of client contact details, agreements and invoices protects you in case of digital data loss. It also allows you to continue invoicing and collecting payments even if online systems are unavailable.
  4. Cash Reserve: In a crisis, ATMs and digital payment systems may be inaccessible. Keeping a small amount of cash on hand ensures you can cover basic expenses and continue operating your business and keeping essential food items in the house.
  5. Battery-Powered Radio: A portable radio is a lifeline to essential information during an emergency. Stay updated about the news, weather alerts, and any official instructions regarding the situation.
  6. Map and Compass: If digital navigation tools fail, a physical map and compass can help you navigate your local area, find essential services, or even relocate if necessary.
  7. First Aid Kit: A basic first aid kit is crucial for addressing minor injuries or ailments. Include essentials like bandages, antiseptic wipes, pain relievers, and any necessary prescription medications.
  8. Portable Solar Charger: While not strictly analogue, a solar charger can keep your essential electronics powered, such as a mobile phone for emergency communication or a laptop for limited work.

Adapting Your Business Strategies:

  • Prioritise Offline Communication: Establish backup communication channels with clients using phone calls, postal mail, or even pre-arranged meeting points.
  • Focus on Deliverables: Shift your focus to tasks that can be completed offline, such as drafting articles, creating design concepts, or planning future projects.
  • Network Locally: Connect with other freelancers and local businesses in your area. Collaboration and mutual support can be invaluable during a crisis. You will need their telephone numbers written down, old-school style.


  • Regularly Back Up Digital Data: Even with analogue tools, maintain regular backups of your digital files in an external hard drive or a physical storage medium.
  • Stay Informed: Monitor official channels for updates and follow any instructions given by authorities.

While emergencies are unpredictable, a prepared freelancer can weather the storm and emerge stronger on the other side. By embracing analogue tools and adapting your strategies, you can ensure business continuity and maintain your valuable client relationships even in the most challenging circumstances.

Government’s Prepare Plan Website

In a world increasingly vulnerable to unforeseen disruptions, the question of preparedness has never been more pressing. “If there was a national power outage, how many of us have torches and batteries? If the water went off, how many of us have a few bottles stored away? And if there was a cyber attack, how many of us have the means to listen to the radio without mains power or wi-fi?”

These questions, posed by Deputy Prime Minister (DPM) Oliver Dowden this week highlight our reliance on digital infrastructure and the potential vulnerabilities it poses to households. His speech at the London Defence Conference underscores a sobering reality: most of us are ill-equipped to handle even minor emergencies.

A recent poll by the conference revealed that only 15% of households have an emergency supply kit, and over 40% lack three days’ worth of essential supplies.

The government has launched a new gov.uk website offering practical advice based on the National Risk Register. The site aims to empower households to take “sensible safeguards” without resorting to “stockpiling.”

A call to action in your community

The DPM urged individuals and communities to take proactive steps in building resilience against potential digital disruptions. Here are some extra steps you can take to prepare for unforeseen emergencies in your area or across the nation.

  • Developing a communication plan: Establish a clear way to connect with family and friends during emergencies, especially if digital communication channels become unavailable.
  • Educating yourself and others: Learn about potential risks and how to respond effectively in various scenarios. Share this knowledge with your family, friends, and neighbours.
  • Building community resilience: Work together with your community to create a network of support and resources that can be mobilised during times of crisis.
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