By Haylee Forbes -
In 2018, running a remote business has become the new criteria in reaching the label of living the dream. While it seems like the ‘way of the millennial’, millennials aren’t the only ones dipping their fingers in the travel jar. With the nature of many businesses becoming increasingly based online and not in the office, this very notion of working from anywhere in the world has become more feasible for many industries.
Picture this, it’s October and most people are pulling out their Winter woollies to rug up for the ensuing cold season. You, on the other hand are choosing between whether to pack your red or blue bikinis. You’re ready to welcome in days of sipping on a mango smoothie beachside, laptop at the ready to keep your business rolling. A picture of perfection am I right?
While it sounds like an easy setup, there are many aspects that must be considered and implemented before you can be content from your laptop at a place of your choice. For those business owners that are looking to make the move to a remote work lifestyle, here are seven tips to consider before you get started.
1. Keep up-to-date with remote work apps
In our virtual world, new apps and tools are constantly entering the market that work to improve the productivity and efficiency of remote teams. Some of these apps may just become your best friend. To ensure your work continues to flow, there are many that you should be adopting. These include but are not limited to Slack for team communication, Dropbox to share files and collaborate, and Asana to keep track of projects. It is also essential to make use of a payment app like PayPal that will allow you to pay employees while documenting invoices.
2. Communication is key
Efficient communication amongst you and your employees is the lifeline for your team to collaborate and work effectively. Thus, as a remote worker and especially business owner, it is essential that you are always reachable and have access to the internet. Take this into account when booking that Airbnb or overwater bungalow! In today’s interconnected culture, there will always be online reviews that comment on the reliability of the Wi-Fi. If there isn’t, message your host and question the internet reliability. Don’t risk going AWOL on your team.
3. Your Wi-Fi needs a plan b
Even though you are pretty much guaranteed internet connection at any hotel or Airbnb, these things are unfortunately still temperamental. Just like brick and mortar businesses have back up generators, as a remote business you will also need a plan b. Purchase a global sim card that has an enough data to work as a back up in the event that your Wi-Fi attempts to disconnect you from the outside world. You can use resources like the Nomad List to check up on connectivity and data options by location.
4. Ace a routine
You may be living a different lifestyle as a remote business owner, though it is crucial to ensure that you still emphasize the importance of achieving the same as your business would on location. Don’t fall victim to holiday mode. Of course, you should be exploring new cities and climbing that mountain, though it’s time to ace that 50/50 balance. So you don’t neglect your business, and become the ultimate procrastinator, create a routine and stick to it. For instance, you could divide your day in half – rise early, sip that liquid gold, work through to lunch time and spend the rest of the day aimlessly wandering. Another day another project complete; another day another old town explored.
5. Project management tools are a must have
Running a virtual team has its many benefits, though unlike in the office, you can’t simply pop your head over your office cubicle to discuss a project with an employee. However, the many project management tools that are now available are removing the inconvenience from this remote business difference. Applications like Asana and Trello allow you to coordinate all of the work your team does and needs to do. By utilizing these apps, you can allocate tasks to each of your employees. Then you will know what needs to be done, who is responsible for doing it and when it’s due.
6. Delegate what should be delegated
I’m sorry to break it to you, but you’re not superwoman…you’re close though. Don’t take on too heavy of a workload. By delegating the odd jobs that don’t need to be completed by you, you can focus on what needs your full attention and expertise. In an ideal world, you should be focusing on the reason you began this business; your vision. So, give it your all, leave the proofreading, data input or invoicing to another team member.
7. Look after your health
If you aren’t on your A game, the show doesn’t go on. By investing in your health, you can ensure that you are always ready to answer when work calls your name. It is tempting to laze on the beach all day, indulge in all that local wine, or eat all those tantalizing new dishes. Because let’s be real, you’re in exciting new territory! However, it is important to find your normal amongst your newfound chaotic lifestyle. Don’t neglect the aspects that make you healthy, like keeping active and eating well. Reserve 80% for your health, and 20% for indulgences.
Running your business from anywhere in the world is a unique opportunity that has helped many businesses thrive in our digitally driven era. Use these tips to achieve that remote work/travel balance to keep the inspiration flowing, and your network growing; an investment like no other.