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Travelling the world and exploring a multitude of countries on your bucket list while running a successful business may seem like a pipe dream. However thousands of digital nomads across the globe have made this very lifestyle a reality - and they’re pretty successful too. Note that “travelling” is not quite the same as going on vacation. You’ll still likely work a typical 40 hour week, if not more, but you’ll find that as you’re constantly surrounded by new people, new places and new experiences, you are consistently a lot more inspired and productive. Sound like the lifestyle for you?
Running a successful business while travelling takes serious hard work and dedication but the rewards on offer are incredible. You get to work from anywhere you want, be your own boss and make your own schedule. That said, a lot of people have tried and failed in their goal to achieve this idyllic, streamlined and indeed “different” lifestyle. How can you run a successful business while travelling across the world? We’ve got 5 great tips from the pros to help you achieve that goal.
Any successful digital nomad will tell you that time management is ever so important. It’s probably unrealistic to think that you’ll work a typical 9 to 5, 5 day working week. You need to find a working schedule that best fits your needs and stick to it. Find out when you work best to maximise productivity. For some successful digital nomads, working every morning for a few hours 6-7 days a week offers maximum productivity, Others prefer to enjoy their daytime hours exploring and maybe taking in some sunshine before sitting down to work for a few hours in the evening/night time.
You’ll find that your business will grow very, very slowly if you don’t learn to optimise and manage your time effectively.
To run a successful business while travelling requires some very proactive planning – lists and plans will be your strongest assets. You’ll need to plan for times it may not be possible to go online (WiFi isn’t always a given!) or when you will be off enjoying full day excursions. Planning ahead enables you to outsource some work ahead of time or complete a batch of work in one and pre-schedule publish usually any of the great social and content scheduling tools out there – Hootsuite, SocialOomph etc.
It’s easy to get overwhelmed by your workload while also trying to fit in sightseeing and some precious “me” time. Keeping on top of your work, especially if you outsource some of your work to freelancers, can be one of the most difficult tasks faced by digital nomads. That’s what it’s virtually a necessity to utilise some of the great workflow management tools out there to remain at the head of your team and successfully manage your workload.
Evernote is a great app for keeping tracking of notes, tasks and appointments. The ability to jot down a note or task in the app, whether at your desktop or on the go with your smartphone, really streamlines your workflow management. If managing freelancers, a project management tool like
Trello is great for keeping track of who is assigned which task and where they are with it. The use of such clever workflow tools offers an inexpensive way to streamline your business and empower business growth.
In the beginning, as you are trying to build your business and guarantee an assured income to fund your travels, it can be tempting to accept every piece of work that comes your way. Even after you’ve established yourself a few regular clients, you may find it difficult to turn down new business or promotional opportunities. What usually happens then is you assign yourself too much work that you simply can’t fulfil and which really isn’t all that profitable.
If work comes your way and the client does not offer a long term relationship that will help to really push your business forward, don’t be afraid to say no. It will likely be the best decision you make. Too many digital nomads have seen their businesses stall due to creating relationships with the wrong clients, wasting too much time writing guest blog posts and missing out more profitable opportunities.
As a general rule, don’t stay in hotels, find yourself a short term lease on an apartment or find accommodation via AirBnB with good WiFi connectivity. You’ll save yourself a lot of money in doing so and it offers greater stability than moving from hotel room to hotel room. Strong WiFi connectivity should be a key factor in your choice of accommodation. Otherwise you’ll rack up costs drinking coffee and eating snacks all day so you can utilise the free WiFi in a local coffee shop.
Remember that your own time is incredibly valuable and your core focus should be on growing the business. Consider the cost of outsourcing a piece of a work to a freelancer versus the cost of completing the work yourself. Often outsourcing to a strong freelancer can prove more cost effective.
Such is the innovation and flexibility of modern technology that it’s never been easier to run a business while travelling. Are you ready to join the digital nomad revolution?