5 Ways to Keep Your Business Moving While You’re Away
- Utilize technology. The days before the Internet meant having to wait to work when the plane landed and you got set up at your hotel. Not anymore. Now, you can manage your business from the air, train or beach if you have the right technology. Consider investing in a mobile hotspot, something Fast Company contributor and nomadic entrepreneur Arianna O’Dell claims has saved her from pesky production interruptions on many occasions. You’ll also need a quality laptop that can handle all the apps and programs you need to run. TechRadar.com recently offered a rundown on the best laptops for work. Take advantage of video-based chat software, noise-cancelling headphones and automatics file backup and storage.
- Hire and stay in touch with key people. Technology can keep you on the clock, but you still need reliable bodies at home base. Mashable explains that the most important people for your small business are the ones that keep things moving when you’re not there. This should include a production manager, marketing guru and a reliable sale, customer service, HR and accounting manager. Maintain an open line of communication with these individuals; give them special permission to contact you when you’re off limits to others.
- Plan your schedule to suit your clients. If you’re traveling abroad, daylight hours won’t be the same for you as they are for your clients. Take this into consideration and work your leisure activities around your customer’s time zone. Zero To Travel explains this may mean enjoying an early morning breakfast then spending the afternoon “at work.” You’ll need to learn self-discipline and how to say no to a few fun excursions in lieu of productivity.
- Let your spending fund your side adventures. All business and no play make for dull days. Even if you have to forgo a few fun times, you should still take in the sights and sounds of your destinations. Let your business spending fund your personal playtime by using the right credit card. Many business credit cards offer benefits that are especially appealing for business owners that travel often. For 2018, Fundera recommends the Chase Ink Business Preferred card, which boosts your travel rewards by 25 percent when redeemed through their rewards center.
- Address problems before they arise. Since you can’t always be on-site, you will need to determine issues that may pop up in your absence and have a plan in place to mitigate any negative effects. For instance, if you own a print shop, there is always the possibility that equipment will fail. Many manufacturers and equipment leasing companies offer priority service plans to address these types of issues. Inc. offers more information on how to learn from past mistakes and anticipate issues before they arise. On the road, you’ll also need to look ahead for concerns at your next destination. Will you have access to a printer if needed? Is your hotel set up with a desk and good lighting so you can work comfortably? You may need to pack portable equipment, such as a printer and scanner and scout the area for mail and package centers in case you must send a hand-printed document back to the office.
It’s not always going to be easy, but you can successfully operate a business no matter where your travels take you. Whether you’re out for business, pleasure or a combination of the two, preplan for issues, invest in the right technology, and stay in touch with your clients and key personnel. You’ll soon find your flow and working on the go will come naturally.
Henry is the co-creator of FitWellTraveler. The site blends two of his favorite subjects (travel and health) to provide readers with information about how to get the most out of both. firstname.lastname@example.org