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How to Explore the World While Still Running Your Business

by Stephanie Faris
creativity, freelancing

travel

Running a business usually means spending a great deal of time surrounded by walls. Whether those walls are in a business complex, your home office, or a nearby coffee shop, they seem to be an integral part of running a business.

But if you’re a creative professional, those walls can hold you back. Even if your creative work can be done from inside those four walls, you’ll still need to occasionally leave the office to gain inspiration, snap photos, or interact with other people.

For any business owner, bills need to be paid and phones need to be answered, whether you’re in the office or on the other side of the globe. Here are a few best practices to put in place to ensure seamless operations while you’re away.

Automate Your Finances

Fortunately, thanks to technology, you can easily set it up so that your customers never know you’re away. Use an invoicing tool to create, send, and manage your invoices each week and make sure that tool is accessible from your mobile device of choice. This will ensure you can manage your business finances whether you’re in the office or on the road, preventing any snags that will keep you from getting paid.

Invest in a Virtual Assistant

If you can’t yet afford a full-time staff member, you can accomplish quite a bit through the use of virtual assistants. You’ll pay only for the tasks you need completed, making this a much less expensive option than a salaried worker. Virtual assistants can handle everything from managing your calendar to responding to emails to more intensive tasks like writing copy and managing your business website. Just knowing you have someone you can call while you travel will be a relief as you pack your bags and leave on your next business trip.

Forward Your Phones

You can choose to let your clients know you’re leaving town for a while, but this might not be a viable option, especially if you plan to travel frequently. Instead, consider investing in a phone system that will route calls to you while still putting your most professional face forward. As long as you have your smartphone on you, you’ll be able to answer calls wherever you are. If you’re careful about background noise, your customers will never know you’re wandering the streets of a scenic location rather than sitting under fluorescent lighting in a cubicle.

Plan Ahead for Global

If your travel takes you overseas, you’ll need to plan ahead to make sure you stay connected once you arrive at your destination. Research WiFi and 4G connectivity at your destination and make sure you have a phone plan that allows international voice and data. Services like Vonage’s Extensions App and Rebtel can be lifesavers once you get to your location and realize you have no connectivity.

With the right tools in place, you won’t be afraid to leave your office and travel the globe. You’ll have your mobile devices on hand, prepared to conduct businesses just as you would in an office. You can also enlist the help of a virtual assistant to ensure day-to-day activities are carried out, freeing you up to take great photos or create great projects after being inspired by the scenery around you.

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Stephanie Faris

Stephanie Faris is the Simon & Schuster author of 30 Days of No Gossip, 25 Roses, and the upcoming Piper Morgan series.