An early morning visit to my local Dunkin' Donuts (I only get coffee) got me wondering how contractors are equipped with backup in this, the busiest time of the season. I pulled into the parking lot at 6:30 and was surprised to find the line out the door and curling onto the parking lot. Something was up. I took my place at the end and wound my way inside where I finally realized the computerized cash registers were down -- they couldn't accept credit cards, debit cards, or Dunkin' Donuts cards. Not only was it a cash-only operation but there was no computer to add up and include tax on each sale. There were no pads of paper, no pens, no calculator and clerks had resorted to using Sharpie markers -- apparently the only writing instrument in the building -- to add purchases on paper from register receipt rolls. And Dunkin' Donuts ate the sales tax because figuring that out by hand would have added a whole other level of frustration -- and delay -- to the operation. So, after bringing them the pen from my car, I started wondering about contractors. What type of backups does your company have? Can you still develop proposals if your computer goes down? How are your phones handled if your office manager can't make it in? What happens if your sealcoating rig or paver breaks down the morning of a big job? Have you planned for another option? If you're all set let us know what you've done to prepare yourself. If you've "saved" your company because you had a backup plan let us know that.. and if you had an instance where a backup plan could have saved you if had one, let us know that -- and what you learned from it -- too.