In today’s mobile society, it’s not uncommon for business owners and professionals to travel extensively. While away from the office, however, it’s still necessary to keep business processes flowing smoothly. There are many ways you can effectively run your business when you travel.
1. Make the most of your mobile devices and applications. Not only is wireless network adapters handy, but when coupled with a wireless hotspot, they allow you to connect to the Internet virtually anywhere. These can be used with your mobile phone, iPod, laptop and more to keep you connected.
2. Use your digital camera to share photos that will help clarify instructions to support staff and co-workers. This is an ideal way to verify model numbers, give a clear example of a broken part, and send needed data to the home office and more.
3. Track deliveries and packages while away from the office via the Internet. By knowing your tracking number, you can easily access delivery information online and reassure a customer regarding an order, or verify a shipment’s proposed arrival time before calling the vendor to inquire.
4. Hire a virtual assistant to handle some of the routine tasks you need to do every day. This could include answering email, publishing a company newsletter, placing supply orders and more. The costs are reasonable and the assistance can be invaluable.
5. Take advantage of sites like Google Docs or DropBox to share files and documents, or store them for easy access wherever you are.
6. Use an online or iPhone app like RightSignature that allows you to digitally sign documents via your cell phone or Internet connection. This eliminates the need for faxing or printing and speeds up the process as well.
7. Set up QR Codes, two-dimensional codes that allow someone to use a QR scanner app to access additional information you supply. This is ideal when you want to provide additional product data, discount codes or even more detailed contact information.
8. Offer online versions of your product catalogs and brochures so customers can access the information without you needing to carry a briefcase full of printed materials.
9. Use your iPad or laptop for sales presentations. You can even provide the information on a CD or via email if your customer is computer savvy enough to access the information easily. This eliminates the need for carrying printed materials and lessens the chance of them being damaged by a spill or other mishap.
10. Use an online backup service such as iDrive to keep a backup of all your files and documents online. If needed, you can access the online version via Restore and know that you’ll always have the information you need on hand.
These are only a few of the many ways you can manage your business while traveling. Make use of those that work well for you and eliminate some of the stress associated with being away from the office when there is work to be done and projects to oversee.