The Business Owner’s Guide to Working on the Road
Whether you’re an occasional outdoor enthusiast who likes to go camping a few times a year, or you’re a seasoned RV owner who spends a significant amount on the road, it’s important for business owners to stay connected and available. Today, The Intentional Traveler provides some tips and resources to help you with remote work.
Become Tech Savvy
Make an investment in top-of-the-line technology. Buy a good quality laptop or tablet and keyboard, and make sure you have plenty of storage and a hefty data plan with a reliable wireless network. The same goes for your smartphone. High-quality earbuds can come in handy, as can rechargeable power banks that allow you to recharge even if you aren’t in close proximity to a power source. Having the ability to turn a phone into a hot spot for a tablet or laptop is also a smart move. According to NBC, waterproof tech gadgets are also wise investments.
Use Apps to Your Benefit
Download and learn to use traveler-friendly apps. It can be beneficial if you can participate in video conferences from anywhere, review presentations, and record memos and notes and then translate them and send them off by text or email. According to Business Insider, other helpful apps include GPS apps, currency conversion apps, if camping out of the country, and from a practicality standpoint, weather, road condition, and WiFi finder apps. You can also use applications to find dry, warm lodging in the event your trip gets rained or snowed out.
Keep Some Things Low-Tech
In some instances, it makes more sense to go low-tech while combining camping and work. For example, if you need to review an existing hard-copy employee training manual, rather than scan each page into a PDF before your camping trip, it might be easier to take a physical copy with you so you can go through and mark up the content by hand. You might also prefer to talk to clients and staffers by phone for quick chats rather than worry about your clothing, background, and connectivity for a Zoom meeting.
Additionally, you might as well take advantage of free resources whenever possible. For instance, this invoice maker can generate professional-looking invoices for your customers and help you maintain precise records – and all for free!
Plan Travel With Work in Mind
As you’re planning your camping trips, look for campsites that offer free WiFi, or can assure you of good connectivity. If you’re tent camping, having a travel table or picnic bench at your site can be helpful. Even though you’ll likely want to spend some time entirely off the grid, plan your schedule so you can be available as needed for pre-planned check-ins or high-level meetings. You might even let people know you’ll be available during certain times of the day so you can be sure you’re in work mode and ready to talk or answer emails.
Be Mindful of Travel Challenges
You can easily get caught up in your camping and outdoor adventures and lose track of time, so be mindful of time zone differences and deadlines. If possible, avoid camping trips during especially busy times of the year, or at critical points of large-scale projects. You should also designate someone you trust to act in your stead and make decisions in the event you can’t be reached when you’re camping. Set your email to send notifications when you’re out, when you’ll return, and what clients and staffers can do if they have an immediate need.
Ensure Smooth Operations
Of course, the more organized your business is in general, the easier it will be for you to run it while you’re on the go. Create a comprehensive business and marketing plan and register your business as a limited liability company, or LLC. This will protect you from some types of liability, give you flexibility, and make it easier to file come tax time. You can do the work yourself, hire an attorney, or your best option, use a formation company to handle details. LLC laws vary from one state to another, so learn yours in advance. And if you’re trying to decide between Zenbusiness vs Legalzoom, the former is cheaper and provides more service throughout various stages of your business.
Tips for Pre-Startups
If you’re just thinking about launching a business and considering business models that will give you freedom and flexibility to travel, there are a number of options to consider. You can play on your professional skill sets and simply work in a remote capacity, or launch an operation that lends itself to remote work. This might include IT projects, accounting, editing, or creative jobs like graphic design or social media management. Jobs like customer service or help desk support can be tricky, as you typically need to be available as customers need you.
The best part about being your own boss is having the freedom to hit the open road whenever you like. In fact, with just a little planning and dedication, the open road can be your new office! After all, why chain yourself to a desk if you don’t have to?