It’s the cliched, entrepreneurial dream; being a digital nomad, travelling to far-fun places, earning money passively as you lounge on a yacht, working just 4 hours per week (thanks Tim!)….and although the idealised version of entrepreneurialism still exists, the reality of it is a little different.
My art & design business, is a location-independant business. As long as I have good wifi, my laptop and iPad Pro with Procreate, I can work from pretty much anywhere on our glorious planet.🌍 💕 💻
And I am not alone.
Even before Covid and the WFH movement, we worked from home to build & run our businesses via the internet. And I’m guessing that maybe you’re also in this category.
But have you taken your business with you while travelling or moving around? Without breaking your business or taking time away from work? I’m not talking about going on holiday or a sabbatical; we all need to step away from our work, to recharge, reconnect and relax.
I’ve travelled with my business many times over the years; as a Brit living in Australia, I’ve spent weeks and months away back in Europe, while running Bespoke Backdrops & Branding.
And during the pandemic in 2021, my husband and I spent 8 weeks on the road, travelling the east coast of Australia up to The Great Barrier Reef and the Whitsunday Islands. Bliss; and of course, no international tourists – we had the famous Whitehaven beach all to ourselves!!
Last year, we enjoyed 6 weeks in England and Greece.
All while working and servicing our clients along the way. Without missing a beat and, crucially, still bringing money in. In fact, our clients had no idea that we weren’t at our desks!
So, how DO you run a business while travelling? What are the key things to have in place to ensure everything runs smoothly?
In Hydra, Greece last year.
5 tips for running your business while travelling:
- Belief. Firstly, you must believe it’s possible. And not freak out, imagining all the worst-case scenarios or making excuses why it couldn’t possibly work for you. If your goal is to run a lifestyle business, or a business that allows you the freedom to live life on your terms, it would be a pity to self-sabotage. Just think laterally, think differently, think confidently, think creatively.
- Communication. It’s your decision whether you tell your clients of your plans or not. Don’t assume that you have to, though. If you’re not doing direct client-facing work, like designing, you may not need to tell them at all. THIS is why I strongly advocate for baking plenty of time into project time-lines, so you can live your life without missing deadlines. If you have regular client sessions, like coaching, let them know of your new hours and availability. Reassure them that their outcomes and expectations will be met.
- Earning while away. There are so many ways to do this successfully. For my design business, I offer new leads the ability to pre-book me before I leave, with a value-added incentive to pre-pay. Then once I’m back, the design project kicks off. This way, I have money coming in before I leave, and work when I get back. If you have payment plan instalments due while you’re away, ensure you send the invoice on time. Don’t abandon your payment schedule just because you’re away!
- Budgeting while away. To avoid overspending while I’m away, I use a foreign exchange and money transfer service called Wise. It’s a bit like the old travellers cheques, but digital. I avoid international bank fees and crazy exchange rate spreads. Plus, preloading money into my Wise account means that I’m not spending more than I would if I were still at home.
- Travelling light. You do not need to take all your notebooks, all your equipment, all the things! Take photos of key pages instead of lugging notes around. Go digital with project management, notes, files and team communication by using software like Asana, Trello, Dropbox and Google Drive. My biggest game-changer was when I got my iPad Pro with Procreate; no more illustrating on paper or taking my pens, paints etc with me.
If this has whetted your appetite for travelling with your business, I’m running a free workshop on Wed 31st called How To Create A Lifestyle Business.
Once you’ve set up your business as a lifestyle business, travelling and being location-independent is a breeze!
🤩 Sign up here to join the workshop – it’s practical, fluff and waffle-free, and you’ll come away with new ideas for your life and business.
How To Create A Lifestyle Business – free workshop. For more info and to reserve your spot, click here.