It has long been the dream of many to leave the suitcase lifestyle, living and working out of only what you can fit into a suitcase and carry-on, while seeing all the beauty and culture the world can offer. This dream has never been more of a reality, with the ability to set up and run a business entirely in the cloud, using a laptop, various software, and by employing the use of virtual services to get things done and keep profits flowing.
Keep in mind that not all businesses can be run entirely, or at all through virtual means. For instance, a small town business account servicing local clients will find it difficult to pack their things and take that show on the road, without changing their business model to focusing on online clients. And, an auto mechanic or industrial electrician obviously need to be present for their clients in order to make a living.
However, if you have a business such as an ecommerce store, successful blog, online consultancy firm, or any other type of service that can provide assistance to customers from the comfort of the cloud, you’ll be pleasantly surprised to learn there isn’t much you’ll need in order to travel the world while running your business.
It’s a given that a successful digital nomad will need a great international mobile plan, complete with unlimited calling and data. However, you’ll still want someone to answer your phone — either all the time or when travel plans make you temporarily unavailable. Whether you’re in startup mode, or an established business owner, a virtual receptionist will not only save you boat loads of money, but can actually improve profits by boosting your current service levels and making sure you never miss a call while on the road.
A physical receptionist taking calls means paying to provide them with the space and equipment needed to do the job. Then there’s all the “other” expenses like salary, benefits, overtime, etc. If they don’t show up for work, you’ve got the expense of important calls being missed and/or lost productivity due to the need to put another employee on the task — and Murphy’s Law dictates that this will surely happen when you’re halfway across the globe!
A virtual receptionist doesn’t quit working for you at the end of the business day either, nor do they charge you for time sitting around in between calls. Meaning you won’t miss calls from other time zones and overall, the quality of the service you offer goes up exponentially because calls are always answered and directed promptly, regardless of call volumes.
A virtual assistant is different from a virtual receptionist in that you can choose from nearly any skill imaginable, though the two can be interchangeable as there are many VAs can do reception duties in addition to other tasks. In order to travel the world and run a successful business, you’ll want to have a lineup of VAs who can do the work you cannot, while also having skilled people to step in should you fall ill or get stuck without a solid Internet connection when deadlines loom, orders need to be filled, or customers require service.
Want someone to tally up all your expenses at the end of the week and put them into an expense report? You guessed it, there’s someone out there who can do this on command for a reasonable price. How about someone to ease your daily email burden by filtering your incoming mail according to importance?
Virtual Address & Mailbox
In order to live and work out of your suitcase, it will be necessary to have a virtual address. There’s no sense renting a brick-and-mortar office, or even maintaining a home residence you can receive mail at while travelling the world. A virtual address and mailbox service allows you to receive mail, have it opened and read, and transcribed and forwarded to you wherever you might find yourself.
A virtual address also adds legitimacy to your online brand, with many providers offering choices from hundreds of addresses all over the world. Best, many will offer discounted or free limited access to office locations in any country you like as you travel and office needs such as the need for meeting and conference rooms, Internet access, printing and fax machines, and facilities for entertaining clients arise.
If you’re changing address quite regularly a-la an avid perpetual traveller, you may want to establish Virtual Headquarters in multiple locations.
Virtual conferencing is a must for a suitcase lifestyle aficionado! Consider the possible savings compared to long international phone calls, or additional traveling time and expenses spent getting to clients, partners, and employees. The last thing you want is for your travel plans to get nixed because of poor communication between you and your team or customers who live in far-away destinations.
Virtual conferencing can be doubly helpful in saving money that you can use to pay for more world travel, if you also utilize virtual team members who need initial training and continued coaching. With virtual conferencing, you to save on the need and expense of traveling to their location or paying someone else to do the training/coaching for you.
Virtual Team Management Software
Cloud management software allows for employee flextime and remote work location option, which allows you to not just save money over the costs associated with a physical office for your team, it allows you to source the most qualified and effective team members from around the globe, within budget, so you can travel the world in relative stress-free comfort.
Tools like Asana, Trello, and Slack are all popular cloud-based platforms which are designed to integrate with Google’s Cloud tools, in addition to other popular CRM and team collaboration software on the market, such as SalesForce and Wrike.
Travel bug eating away at you?
Even if you don’t have an established online business, there are so many ideas to choose from. Ideas that can see you making money in a relatively short time, and allow you to hit the road indefinitely while funding your travels via a virtually run business. It’s easier than you think — no regrets!