Many people travel for business. Some take off for a day at a time; others spend weeks on the road. If you fit into this group, you probably know how important it is to be able to take your business with you no matter where you are headed. Business is becoming more remote, and it’s conducted around the world. It’s important to have the necessary tools and equipment to do business no matter where you are.
Here are five tips to follow if you are interested in taking your business on the road:
1. Pack what you need and leave the rest back at your office. The last thing you want to do is get in the habit of packing anything and everything that you can get your hands on. Sure, you need certain items, but somewhere along the way you have to draw a line.
2. Use one bag and one bag only. This goes along with tip number one. As a general rule of thumb, when I am traveling for business I limit myself to one bag for “work related items.” For me, this includes my laptop, necessary files, and miscellaneous equipment (mouse, USB stick, keyboard, etc). All of this fits nicely into one, carry-on computer bag. Anything that doesn’t fit stays at my office.
3. You need a laptop. If you truly want to take your business with you wherever you go, you need a laptop computer. You may prefer a desktop in your office, but for travel this simply isn’t going to work. In today’s day and age you have many options including lightweight laptops as well as smaller netbooks. Either way, you will have what you need to travel comfortably while giving yourself access to the internet and saved files.
4. Where are you going to stay? Does it offer a reasonable work station? Will you have internet access? It is important to plan in advance if you will be staying in a hotel. You must choose one with a proper work station, as well as fast and reliable internet access. There are many hotels that cater to business travelers. I always look for a hotel with free Wi-Fi in the room. Make sure you call ahead to ask if the Wi-Fi is available in the rooms, because sometimes they boast “free wi-fi” but it’s only available in the common areas.
5. Upgrade Your Phone. I carry with me an iPhone, and it has saved me on numerous occasions from sending out an important email, receiving an important email, looking up quick research on the internet, or even sending an invoice. I use Fresh Books, which has an iPhone app that allows me to manage my invoices and create/send estimates to prospective clients. I also have an app that allows me to scan and electronically file away business receipts and documents. Your old phone may be holding you back from doing business more efficiently on the road. You don’t have to buy an iPhone and switch to AT&T. There are other great smart phones on the market. I also like the Google Android phones, because of their open platform to create different applications for the phone.
If traveling is a big part of your job, the tips above should allow you to successfully conduct business from the road. Although you may never feel as comfortable as you do at your office, you can stay still productive.
Do you have any additional tips? Everybody is different in terms of how they like to travel. Feel free to leave a comment to share your advice and experiences.
(photo credit: Melanchuk)