If you own and operate a small business, there is a high likelihood that you do at least some traveling to meet with suppliers, clients, or other business-related partners. Sometimes this may mean traveling across town, other times it might involve going half-way around the world. Either way, you want to be able to run your business seamless, no matter where your travels take you.
In an effort to help you with this, I reached out to Libby Tucker, founder and CEO of LiveWorkAnywhere and AnyPass. LiveWorkAnywhere offers a lot of valuable advice for the person who literally wants to live and work anywhere, whereas AnyPass is a membership site that offers benefits including access to co-working spaces, accommodation bookings, product discounts, and more. (As a side note, she also runs Beer2Buds which allows you to send a beer to friends or family members, even if you can’t be there to enjoy it with them. How cool is that?)
Anyway, as an “Anywhere Entrepreneur,” Libby has been to 24 different countries, all while tending to her businesses and helping them grow. So, the five tips that she has chosen to share, things that she refers to as “Mobility Criteria,” she has learned firsthand, proving that you can indeed run your business seamlessly, no matter where you are around the globe. What are these tips?
Create a System
When you aren’t in your business’s four walls, one of the best things you can do to avoid problems is create a system. After all, the more scheduled you are, the less likely you are to forget anything, which is especially important if you are traveling across time zones and trying to keep track of meetings and other similar events.
In this case, Libby recommends setting your calendar to one time zone and keeping it there for consistency. Another option is to place your meeting agendas on a site like Trello, allowing you to easily know what you need to do for them, and giving others access to it so that they know what to expect as well.
Make Sure You Have Access to the Internet
If you currently have great Internet access, then consider yourself lucky because it isn’t that way everywhere. So, it is possible then that you are traveling to an area that has either limited access or no access whatsoever, which means that you could potentially be out of touch with your business and not able to handle certain situations.
Your first step to avoiding this issue is to check where you are traveling to and inquire as to their Internet services. Contact the hotel you will be staying at, look up the airports you will be flying through, and see if the airline offers in-flight Wi-Fi services. The more you know about where you will have access (and where you won’t), the more prepared you will be. Speaking of being prepared…
Have a Backup Plan
Sometimes things don’t happen the way they should, which makes having a backup plan an absolute necessity. When considering your Internet availability, for instance, you may choose to take a MiFi device (also commonly referred to as a mobile hotspot) with you so that you are almost guaranteed service as long as it is in a service area for that particular provider. Another option is to scope out local coffee houses to see who offers services in case yours doesn’t work.
You also want to have backup power sources on hand to be able to charge your laptop, cell phone, tablet, and any other electronic device you rely on while traveling. An extra power cord for these things isn’t a bad idea either as sometimes they can go bad or break.
Automate Any Process You Can
The more things you can automate, the less you will have to worry about while away. This includes setting up auto responders that are triggered by a certain action, such as a response to an email that informs the sender that you are currently out of the office.
If you don’t currently have an automated process in place, “Infusionsoft is great for small businesses,” says Tucker. It can help you manage your contacts, data, lists, and even your marketing strategy, giving you access to everything you need in one convenient location.
Rely on Your Assistant
No matter how prepared you are, there are going to be times when you are going to be unavailable to your partners and clients while traveling. Therefore, you might have to rely on someone else to be able to handle things, and that is where an assistant comes in.
If you don’t already have one, a virtual assistant is always an option. At least then you will have someone that can help you take care of things while you are away, even if they aren’t located in your same building, town, city, state, or even country. Libby uses Elance to hire her virtual staff, as this particular freelance platform lets you learn a lot about a potential hire, in addition to reading reviews written by former clients.
For more information about living and working anywhere, or to find out how Libby can help you travel while seamlessly operating your business, visit LiveWorkAnywhere and AnyPass. Who knows? She may just be the solution to your travel-related problems.