One of the key benefits of being your own boss is that you are free to move around the country and – why not – the globe as you please. Many entrepreneurs and lifestyle business owners are highly mobile and enjoy the freedom they afford to the maximum. And while they travel and explore new places and cultures, they also continue to run their businesses.
Modern technology makes it very easy to work from anywhere around the world. These days, entrepreneurs can host video conferences, manage their daily schedule, and create and send email documents using their smartphone. Various other apps help you automate your online marketing and social media activities, manage your time, keep track of payments from clients and communicate with anyone from any corner of the world at affordable prices.
At a glance, it seems that it is no big deal to manage a business on the go. However, it takes lots of planning and discipline to keep yourself focused on your work, when there are so many temptations and exciting things to do along your travel. Here are some helpful tips for you:
1. Set Specific Days Just for Work
Whether you explore a city or a country, you will have full days when you visit tourist attractions, museums or go on nature trails. However, you should fit at least two full work days per week in which you will stay in your leased apartment or hotel room and focus entirely on work.
These distraction-free days must be a staple in your schedule, no matter how long the journey may be. During these days, you will have the time to catch up with business issues, respond to emails, have video conferences with clients, and cover any other topics which require time and full attention.
2. Keep Track of the Time Zones
It may be 1 p.m. in Athens, Greece, but it is only 6 a.m. in New York, USA – not a great time to make a business phone call. In order to avoid unpleasant and embarrassing situations, always keep track of time zones and set your smartphone and laptop to display the time in your locations of interest, apart for the current time in your location.
3. Always Buy Local SIM Cards
If you use your US-based mobile phone, you will incur huge roaming fees, both on the voice and data plans. The simple and smart solution is to buy a prepaid SIM card from every country you are visiting and recharge it according to your needs. If you are a frequent visitor to certain countries, it may be worthwhile considering a subscription-based mobile plan.
4. Learn about Different Local Business Practices and Customs
Each culture has its particularities even when it comes to conducting business affairs. You will certainly get to do some business with local customers and other businesses (this is the whole point of traveling and doing business after all). For example, in Japan it is considered rude to say “no” directly during negotiations, you should seek a milder formula of rejection. In South American countries it is customary to open the discussion by talking about non-business issues, such as weather, sports, current events, etc.
5. Use Cloud Storage Facilities
Your computer or smartphone should not be the only storage solution for important documents. They could malfunction or be stolen from you, and you would lose lots and lots of valuable data. Cloud storage is the best way of keeping documents secure and always available to you wherever you may be located.
Last but not least, do not forget to input in your accounting software the location from each place where you are doing business. This is very important for the calculation of the taxes you owe, because you can take advantage of the double taxation avoidance treaties signed by the USA with various countries.