By Candace Nicholson
No matter how much we may love our comfy office chairs and 20-inch monitors, we have to admit: We live in an increasingly mobile world. From sending work documents from the office to our printers at home to wielding tablets that allow us to check in at the airport while on our way to the airport, an effective mobile strategy helps ease the burden that comes with running a small business in the 21st century.
Maybe you’re expanding your company to a new location in your city or region. Maybe your schedule is brimming with trade shows and conferences that keep you in constant motion. Or maybe your business is always on the move because you can’t provide a mobile service if you aren’t mobile. Whatever your situation, here are a few tips and tricks to help keep your business running smoothly while you’re on the go.
Choosing the Right Tools For the Job
The easiest way to stay connected and prepared to handle your company needs while traveling is through the use of technology. Many small business owners use smartphones, laptops and tablets to contact customers, access files and showcase products. However, it’s important to know how to use our gadgets wisely or else we may be doing ourselves more harm than good.
For example, laptops and tablets are great to have in your toolbox, but how helpful would they be without a reliable WiFi connection? Smartphones can be the lifeblood of a business that requires constant contact with your clients, but without a hands-free device to complement them, your day may be less productive than you hoped. It’s days when your schedule is completely full that you truly appreciate a mobile Wifi hotspot device or a bluetooth-enabled hands-free earpiece.
And where would be in the world of technology without mobile applications? You don’t have to look very far to find online articles recommending the best business apps to help your company succeed. But the only person who will know what works best for your business is you. So whether you’re tracking time, participating in conference calls, transferring files or collecting payments in the field, always search for apps that best serve your specific company needs.
Delegating Tasks to the Stationary
If only shiny new technology were the answer to all our problems. Sadly, there are some business tasks that need a little more than a software upgrade. It’s times such as this when a stationary human touch can become our biggest business asset.
If you’re a solopreneur working on the go, there are options to help you delegate business chores like scheduling appointments, shipping orders and reconciling budgets. For example, a virtual assistant can be your right-hand in the field, dedicating their attention to everything from collecting customer feedback to making flight reservations. Another option is to use services like Appointy, FreshDesk, and Bench Bookkeeping that can help you maintain focus while you’re traveling “out of the office.” These services were explicitly created for entrepreneurs who may have trouble being the jack-of-all-trades when they’re on the road.
Scheduling Time for Productivity
Meetings, training and problem solving from a virtual office can keep any small business owner on their toes, but you wouldn’t have it any other way. Except … you could do a better job at scheduling. We try our best to stay organized, but may struggle to keep our energy fully charged when the drain of travel wears us down. That’s why it’s important to recognize when you’re at your peak performance.
Knowing when it’s best for you to power down, relax or recharge can go a long way to helping build your business’s reputation for productivity and reliability. But a busy entrepreneur can’t always take advantage of downtime, so using those windows of low productivity to handle less physically demanding tasks is a great substitute.
Leveraging low energy troughs to answer emails, update reports or gather research for your next project is a smart way to stay on top of your game while traveling. It’s also a way to break up the more tedious business tasks so they don’t feel as daunting during a busy workweek.
Whether you run a delivery service, maintain a successful travel blog, or sale your products at trade shows, working while you travel has to become second nature. Developing a routine that incorporates effective mobile technology, conscientious delegation and strategic scheduling to bolster energy for more demanding tasks will help you keep your small business on track even when working on the road.