Managing a business is a full-time job. As such, when you are away from your desk for travel, it can be stressful to try and manage that business from a mobile perspective. Luckily, there are some tips that can help you along the way.
#1 Finding Wi-Fi While Traveling
For most business owners operating remotely in the modern age, an internet connection is a prerequisite. However, finding a trustworthy connection while traveling can sometimes prove difficult.
You could always use the data on your phone when available, but be ready to handle roaming fees if this is your choice. Another idea is to look for places that will serve you WiFi. This could include booking a hotel that offers WiFi or even spending your work hours on a laptop in a local cafe. There are plenty of apps that are made to help you find local WiFi spots that can be helpful to use in unfamiliar landscapes.
Some other popular solutions include using a personal hotspot - a feature many smartphones have - or purchasing a SIM card once you get to your location.
#2 Communication Apps That Work Anywhere
Unfortunately, not every app you use will work abroad. The best way to prepare for this is to research what apps won’t work in your destinations and switch to ones that will when possible. This way, you can avoid the stress of suddenly realizing that your communication and work platforms won’t work when you get to your hotel.
For communicating with a team, apps like Skype and WeChat work almost anywhere. Google applications such as Google Drive also work in most countries and are great choices for team collaboration. Asana is excellent for task management.
#3 Using Your iPhone Abroad
One thing to do before you travel internationally is to make sure your phone will work abroad.
As a business owner, you probably don’t have the luxury of waiting for WiFi all the time, so you depend on the data your phone offers. On top of that, most business owners don’t have the luxury of being able to take on fees that aren’t strictly necessary. For iPhones specifically, you will need to take steps to unlock your iphone to be able to use no matter where you are.
A locked phone means that you can only use it with a single provider. For instance, if you buy a phone directly from a provider like AT&T it will only allow you to use AT&T SIM cards. That phone is “locked”, and even though you can purchase a SIM card with prepaid data for less than $20 in most countries in the world, you won’t be able to use that SIM card with your locked phone. Luckily, you can “unlock” or “jailbreak” your iPhone to ensure that you aren’t tied to a single carrier like most of us in the USA are.
The good news is that it’s rather easy to unlock an iPhone and Apple even has a handy guide. In this guide, you simply choose your cell carrier and it will tell you the steps you need to take. To finalize the process, call your provider and they should be able to help you in just a few minutes.
#4 Plan Your Work Hours
When you are traveling - whether it be for work or pleasure - it can disrupt your average routine. The best way to handle this is the same way you handle it at home: set work hours. A good way to start is to determine when you work best. For instance, if you work well in the morning, set morning hours that are dedicated to work.
It’s a good idea to communicate these hours to your team. That way, they know when it’s best to reach you. Another thing you will want to communicate with them is if your hours will be shifted by time zone locations.
#5 Don’t Take on More Than You Can Handle
In a business setting, it’s easy to take on a task just to seem helpful and courteous. When you are traveling, though, your schedule is likely to be much tighter. As such, you won’t have as much time to dedicated to a high influx of optional projects.
When someone gives you an offer or asks you to do something while you travel, take a moment to think about it instead of immediately accepting. Do you have the time to give this project the attention it needs? Will you or your business benefit from taking this project on?
It’s okay to be selective in the responsibility you take on. Sometimes stepping down is a much better alternative to doing a job halfway.
#6 Track Travel Expenses
When you are traveling for business, you might be using company funds. Unlike when an employee from a business goes on a business trip, though, company funds are your funds. This means that the money you’re spending while traveling needs to be closely watched.
It’s a good idea to not only choose options that will save you money but to itemize spending as well. Once again, apps such as Concur or Expense Manager can help with this.
#7 Keep Your Devices Fully Charged
As we’ve gone over, a big part of being able to run a business on the go is always being connected. This means that it’s important to make sure all your devices are fully charged as often as possible.
To help this along, many frequent travelers invest in portable chargers. Remember, if you are traveling internationally, you might need adapters to fit the outlets in the locale you’ll be in.
With tips like these, your next trip while running your business will be a breeze!
About the Author
Annabelle Short is a writer and editor of more than 7 years. Anabelle's main areas of interest include: entrepreneurship in the 21st century, white hat SEO, digital nomadism. She also works with few organizations to provide families with the best resources for raising and educating a special needs child. When not working, she’s spending time with her family and friends or putting pen to paper for her own personal pursuits. Annabelle also likes to make DIY projects in her free time.