How to Run Your Business While on the Move
So you're at that spot in your business where you've decided to go travelling. Your business is all set up, you've listened to everything I've said, you've got fantastic documentation processes, you've got great accountability practices and all of your staff are ready to see you leave. Bon voyage! So, you've now decided what do you pack? What if something goes wrong? How do you do this?
Enjoy Your Trip and Run Your Business at the Same Time
Your mind is stressing out. You might have started the business six months ago or six years ago; it doesn't matter. You've decided to make a thing of it, and now you're working out how you can actually do that. Here's what I found when I went travelling for the first time, which I'll be happy to admit that the first time I travelled overseas after starting my business I'd been in business for 10 1/2 years.
Evaluate What Could Go Wrong
So, it took me a bit of time and courage to get up there, but what I did is I looked and I thought, 'What can break around here?' And I went, 'Okay, there's a single point of failure there.' What could break? It could be anything from hardware to staff members.
You need to make sure that you've got all your bases covered. Once you've done that and you've got all those bits back up, just in case something goes wrong, the next step is working out what to take.
What Do You Need?
What do you need with you? Obviously, it changes depending on the business. I've got the YouTube channel happening, and that means that I need to carry around a green screen with me as I go travelling. Woo hoo! Extra luggage. We can get collapsible stuff like that. All my different camera equipment and everything else I have to carry around with, but it all depends on your business and how that runs.
Most of the time you can get everything running from a laptop. You want to make sure it's a laptop that you're comfortable with that's small enough to get a handle, carry around with you everywhere, and not become cumbersome. So, I've got a 17-inch massive beast of a laptop, and when I went travelling, I upgraded to a 13-inch with a much better specification, but ultimately much lighter, and that keeps me able to check in my bags wherever I go and make sure that I'm able to keep on top of the weight restrictions and not be lugging around something on my back that's costing me my spine later on in life.
Think About Software
From a software perspective, you need to think about what you need when you go travelling. I would suggest that you speak with your IT company and get a VPN put in place so you can connect back into work in a secure way.
Use two-factor authentication so that you're able to use either your phone as a second aid of authentication or possibly one of those dongles so that you're able to still connect in and stay very secure. If your business is very service-based or physically based, you need to make sure that the hierarchy of people who are reporting to you comes back to one person for you to discuss and have everything channelled through. Otherwise, it's going to be a headache.
Try a Holiday Test Run
Now, you've got everything packed. You're nice and secured. You might have done a test run. This is what I did. I did a test holiday only a few kilometres away from the office for two months before I went over to America for 10 weeks. When I did that, I made sure that if anything was to go wrong it was picked up in those two months and I was able to guide the appropriate people through. So, doing a test holiday first will definitely help you relax on the real holiday. I'll be the first to say, we have a very, very good setup, great infrastructure between our Sydney, Brisbane, and Melbourne data centres, but I did see one weak point and go, 'Hmm, if that router was to blow up, that could cause us some gripe.' So, I thought, 'What can we do to fix that?' I went out just to have one sitting on the shelf and spent about $1200 to have this device just sitting there just in case. Low and behold, I'm in Vegas after one of the networking meetings and I get an email saying that the router is down and I'm thinking, 'Yes, finally, some pre-planning that prevented a problem.' I already had the processes in place and we're able to have that whole thing replaced and fixed remotely, which is fantastic, because it meant less down time, less travel in between places and less stress, which is ultimately why you're going on holiday: to have a fun experience and to have less stress.
Don’t Connect to Free WiFi
Don't connect to free WiFi. It is free for a reason, and you're the product. If it's free, you're the product. If it is free, they're probably taking your information. I had a client that decided to connect remotely to a free WiFi point without any security in place, and it didn't end well.
Be diligent. Think about what you're doing. Why is it free? Just buy the dongle. It's so much cheaper. Even if it's $90 to $100 a month, it's cheaper and for the peace of mind knowing that you're on a secure connection over that 4G or whatever the dongle is at the time that you're listening to this. It's going to just make your life a lot easier.
Get Unlimited Data
Now, I suggest that when you land at your destination, check around to see what sort of plans are there. Grab yourself an unlimited DIM SIM. When I get that SIM and I pop that DIM SIM in, I find myself no longer hungry for data. You're then connected back to the real world, back to wherever your home base is, and you're able to monitor and manage everything remotely. It might not seem like much but just having a few things in place, making sure you've got a light laptop that has long battery hours, and you've got a secure connection back to the office.
The Final Word
So they are my hints and tips. Nothing too crazy. Nothing you'd be like, 'Oh, wow. That's revolutionary. Why didn't I think of that?' But definitely, things that will help in the process of planning for your holiday. Have a pre-holiday near where you actually work, light luggage, and secure connection. You should be on the way.
I hope you've enjoyed this. Stay good.
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