The days of having to work from a fixed office are in the past. Nowadays, you can run a business from practically anywhere.
Being able to work from any location could be useful if you often have to travel to meet clients. It could also allow you to more easily undertake personal errands while still keeping tabs on your business. You could even use the opportunity to travel the world leisurely, while running your business as your travel.
This flexibility also comes with reduced costs. Being able to work from anywhere means that you don’t need to pay for office space and all the extra costs that come with it such as maintenance and utility bills.
So just what do you need to run a business from anywhere? Below are just a few tips on how to run a business from any location.
Start using a portable device
If you currently do all your work on a desktop computer, your first step ought to be to switch to a portable device. This could be a laptop, a tablet or a smartphone.
A laptop is the most sensible option if you need to use powerful software or if you need to do a lot of typing. It’s worth investing in a decent laptop with a lot of RAM and a good battery. Buy yourself a laptop case to protect it from damage while travelling.
A tablet can be used while standing up, making it better suited to certain types of work. Tablets also tend to have a better battery than laptops. They aren’t as powerful as laptops however, and are less suitable for word processing tasks (although you can use a bluetooth keyboard). Make sure to invest in a case such as these iPad cases to protect your tablet from damage.
A smartphone is the most portable option and the best suited option for phone calls. It’s the least suitable option for word processing tasks due to its small screen, however can still be convenient for handling emails and instant messages on the go. Most of us already own a smartphone, however it can be useful to buy a separate work phone to separate your business and personal life.
Get the right apps
It’s important that any software you need is available on the devices you use. Most major business software is now cloud-based and available as an app to use on both Apple and Android devices. Powerful programs may not be available as an app or may have limited features – in these cases, you’ll want a laptop to handle these tasks.
Some of the apps that are worth downloading onto your tablet or smartphone include email apps, accounting software apps and social media apps.
Secure your network with a VPN
It’s possible to get internet coverage in a lot of places nowadays. If you don’t want to eat up your data, you’ll likely want to look for places with public wi-fi that you can log onto. Just bear in mind that this public wi-fi may not always be secure – this is why it’s worth always using a VPN.
A virtual private network (VPN) allows you to use a public network anonymously so that your data is less at risk. You can find out more about VPNs online.
Invest in your own portable Wi-fi
It could be worth looking into portable wi-fi routers for times when you may need to travel somewhere remote without access to public wi-fi.
Investing in a decent travel router will guarantee the best connection. You can either pay for your connection monthly or pay-as-you-go. It’s worth noting that some modern cars have in-built portable routers nowadays – this could allow you to work online from your car.
Hire remote employees
A lot of businesses are now choosing to hire remote employees. This allows employees to work from home (or similarly any location), preventing the need to spend money on office space. There are other benefits to hiring remote employees such as being able to hire talent from anywhere in the world.
Your remote employees will need to be equipped with the right tools. You could agree to buy devices for them and pay for software for them to use. Alternatively, you could ask employees to use their own devices and rely on free programs for collaboration.
When communicating with remote employees, there are several options. Instant messaging is a popular option that is fast and non-invasive. When you need to share large files or large amounts of information, it may be better to use emails or attachments. Voice calls can be great for very fast or urgent interchanges of information, while video calls can allow you to talk to employees face-to-face.
Use a VoIP number
A Voice over Internet Protocol number is a phone number that relies on an internet connection rather than a landline or mobile connection. VoIP numbers can be set up to be answered from multiple devices by multiple users. Providing you have an internet connection, you can answer these calls from any location.
You can find out more about switching to a VoIP number online.
Set up hands-free calls
Hands-free call technology allows you to answer and make calls when your hands are busy. This can be useful when driving or when doing manual labour tasks.
To answer calls hands-free, you’ll need a bluetooth headset. Alternatively, if you need to answer calls while driving, it’s possible that your car may have a bluetooth speaker and microphone built into it. Using your smartphone’s bluetooth settings, you can then connect your phone to your bluetooth device and you can start making/receiving calls hand-free immediately.
Bring a portable charger
Owning a portable charger will allow you to keep your devices charged up on the go without having to search for a public power socket.
The best power banks are able to hold multiple laptop or tablet charges. Consider buying one of these to take with you. Just make sure you don’t forget to charge up your power bank.