<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none;" alt="" src="https://dc.ads.linkedin.com/collect/?pid=118542&amp;fmt=gif">
Skip to content
Lucas Hamon Aug 15, 2016 3:41:31 PM 11 min read

15 Tips for Running a Business While Traveling

Tips for running a business while traveling on vacation

START BY NOT FORGETTING TO DO IT:

I just got back from a week-long vacation with my wife & kids where we piled in the minivan, drove to Las Vegas to play for a little bit, then to Park City, UT to visit my parents and sister, and my brother and his family, then back again, with another stop in Vegas...

... all without missing a beat in regards to running my business.

It's our family tradition - and has been as long as I can remember. We love spending the time on the road together (even when we don't), and it's an opportunity for much-needed rest and bonding.

But vacations were a lot easier when I wasn't responsible for so much; being a business owner changes things - so doing it the right way is key, so I can get that much needed down-time while executing my job as if I never left my office.


15 Tips for Running a Business While Traveling:

For awhile, the word, "vacation" was a 4-letter word in our house. Just hinting at one would give me heart palpitations. Vacation?! Who has time for that?

See, like many of you, I started my business from my own blood, sweat, and tears. When my family and I initially decided to go "all-in," that meant making significant sacrifices. It meant that money was going to be tight for awhile and that dad was going to be completely immersed in this new venture.

So, any time spending money or leaving town came up, even in mere thought (I had a sixth sense for these things), "no" ejected from my mouth faster than the breath that carried it. Thankfully, my wife was patient with me, because I must have been tough to live with... Even moreso, thankfully she insisted that we continue our tradition anyway.

She was determined, and the trips were always worth it.

And actually, over the years, I became quite good at this road trip, personally and professionally, so I thought I would share some of my favorite tips with you!

1. Take trips to see family

This is especially true if you have kids. Your parents want to see their grandchildren just as much as they want to see you, so pawning them off while you get some work done won't feel so bad. Plus, they'll probably take the burden off of you from having to deal with other responsibilities you might share with your spouse back in the "real world."

I'm the cook in my house, so this means I don't have to stress about grocery shopping or cooking dinners. My wife does most of the cleaning, so this means less stress on her to keep the place looking nice. We both do the parenting, so this means we don't have to worry about boys talking to our daughters, or about our little one getting bored.

Being on vacation to see family takes a huge amount of stress off of all of us, which means I'm able to get more done in concentrated times, and when my wife looks at me, she's smiling, not whatever-elsing.

2. Use the cloud for everything

I learned this lesson years ago after knocking an entire glass of water into the keyboard of my 6 month-old laptop. The process of recovering everything was excruciating, so I decided that from then on, everything would be stored in the cloud.

I moved from Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint to Docs, Sheets, and Slides. I also made sure that my computer saved everything to the cloud first, and the hard drive as backup.

Now, when disasters happen (which they do), I can just flip on a new computer, sign into my accounts, and keep working without skipping a beat. This means I don't have to worry about losing my notepad or calendar or deal with exporting my data from Outlook (haven't we all been there?).

Nothing gets lost. Ever.


MORE LIKE THIS: My 11 Best Digital Marketing Tools for Inbound & Growth Driven Design 


3. Gamer headphones

Business development is a big part of my role as CEO, and there are always new opportunities being evaluated, so I take a lot of phone calls from the road. Since I always have my laptop with me, I set it up so I could send and receive calls using my computer through Google Voice and Hubspot Sales.

Something I found to really like was using gamer headphones.

I can tune out the world when I'm working, so if I want to listen to music, lectures, or nature sounds, I pop them on, and everybody knows I'm off-limits. This makes concentrating while everybody else buzzes around a lot easier.

But the big perk is making and receiving phone calls. They have voice receivers, that are typically built to block out background sound, which is obviously important for making calls with important clients and prospects. So, when a call comes in, I just pop out the receiver and let it do its thing.

4. CRM integration

Having a CRM helps me stay on task. Have the right CRM integration cuts hours out of my day be keeping the most important information in front of me when I need it most.

I use Hubspot Sales for our CRM, and it's integrated into Gmail, which is what we use to host our emails. This does several things, and here are 2 of my favorite related to my role in business development:

  • When I open an email from one of my contacts, it opens a Hubspot window, showing my last email correspondence with that particular individual, and other interactions such as page visits or emails opened. That means I can fire off a response and feel confident I captured our latest.
  • I can even call a contact through Gmail using the Hubspot integration
  • I can pull email response templates through the integration, and send out correspondence that we later track for overall effectiveness
  • I can trigger automated email sequences built-in Hubspot Sales through Gmail

As a business owner, I'm also interested in keeping tabs on the sales pipelines of the rest of my teams, so having the right CRM and integration with marketing is important. Again, we use Hubspot for the Sales side, but also for marketing, so I can check out statistics individually or as a whole, and don't have to spend time tracking anything down.


MORE LIKE THIS: How a Hubspot Integration Will Destroy Your B2B Marketing Strategy


5. Solid-state drive

Invest in a laptop with a solid-state drive. Seriously. Don't worry about having as much space, because everything goes in the cloud anyway, but don't skimp out on this.

Solid-state drives mean there are no moving parts in your hard drive. This is significant, because in the past, the speed in which the drive rotates is a big determining factor in how fast your computer runs... because it determines how quickly you can access information. 

However, you're still pulling data through a laser from a single point on the drive, so it's speed is important too, because it has to physically move in order to access different parts of your hard drive. This is why booting up takes so much longer than it should.

Your solid state drives don't have this problem, because your data is stored on a chip, not a spinning disc - like your tablet computers. This means boot-ups are lightning fast, and that accessing files and different programs is a quicker process.

It also means that you are less likely to damage your computer when in transit.

Do you remember having a discman? In the early days, if you moved it while your CD was playing, you would cause it to move and scrape the inside of the unit.

Although there are technologies that prevent this movement from happening, you're still dealing with that gyroscope effect, which means you're fighting gravity when a laptop with a spinning hard drive tilts gets jarred. 

More moving parts means more likely to get damaged.

6. Hotspot

There is nothing worse that sitting in your hotel room, trying to get work done or get through a call, when your wifi goes out. If you don't have hotspot on your phone, you're done for, so make sure you have it and know how to use it blindfolded.

7. At the hotel, always upgrade wifi

Speaking of wifi disasters, in one of my trips, I remember choosing the complimentary wifi when I was getting ready to jump on a conference call with one of my clients. I was staying at a hotel in Las Vegas and didn't think it would be that bad.

Well, I was wrong. I should have realized it when the option to pay came up. I learned my lesson by participating in the most painful call I've ever had with a client, consisting of dropped voice, delays, and timed out web browsing when I was sharing my screen.

The worst part was that since I already signed in and told them "no" to the upgraded services, there was no way to sign out and try again, so I was stuck.

I know in Blackjack you're never supposed to buy the insurance, but in this case, BUY IT!

8. Bluetooth headset

Not every call can be taken while I'm on the laptop. Sometimes when we're out and about, but I want to talk to somebody, I take my Bluetooth headset with me. I use my free hands to take notes or pop open and turn on my laptop. It also allows me to take calls without forcing my family to listen over the hands-free speaker in our van.

God forbid I interrupt the viewing of Aladdin, anyway!

9. Communicate needs 1 day in advance

One of the things that make running a business while traveling difficult is knowing your schedule too far in advance. The reality is that things pop up, even when we plan ahead and try to keep our calendars open.

That said, I always let my wife know what's on the agenda the next day, so we are always on the same page with the kids, and so I can insert myself at the most opportune times.

10. Enjoy your trip

One of the best parts about working in a virtual business is not being tethered to my home office desk. I am better at my job when there is balance, and these trips are pointless if I don't pull my nose out of my work to enjoy as much time with my loved ones as possible.

So, in addition to making time to get the work done, I recommend blocking off time to spend it doing what you want to do with whom you want to do it.

11. Participate in physical things

It's important to stay active, and since we're on vacation, it's easy to get sucked into activities that involve not moving around, but I think that's a missed opportunity! Try to spend that time doing things that are active.

When I'm talking with my wife about the next day, I usually position my breaks around their more active plans, like hiking or going to the park with our 2-year-old.

12. Hotel Tonight

Download this app for awesome hotel deals. We always stay at the upgraded, fun hotels in Vegas, and we always reserve our rooms the day of. And we always pay less than many of the cheap-rate hotels, all because of this super easy-to-use app.

No, I don't get a kickback from them, but I probably should...

13. Deduct

I'm not going to give you tax advice, but when you're working on the road, a lot becomes deductible. Call your accountant for this one, and get ready to write off some expenses!

14. Schedule meetings early in the day

Schedule everything, actually, including breaks, and try to stack the earlier parts of your day for work, and the end of the day for vacationing. 

This makes it so much easier to concentrate.

I use Hubspot's calendar system, which is integrated with my Google calendars, so to keep people from booking time I want to spend being on vacation, I just block it off there. Hubspot does the rest.

15. Come home to unwind

Don't schedule appointments for the same day you get home - on the phone OR in-person. You just won't be fresh. You won't be at the top of your game, so don't do it!



CONCLUSION:

Part of what helped me build this methodology is working in a field that doesn't require me to physically be in front of my clients or colleagues. So, I had practice, even outside of vacations. 

Interested in learning how Orange Pegs' team of virtual marketing specialists can help your business grow? Schedule a free marketing assessment today!

Get a marketing assessment free from Orange Pegs

avatar

Lucas Hamon

Over 10 years of B2B sales experience in staffing, software, consulting, & tax advisory. Today, as CEO, Lucas obsesses over inbound, helping businesses grow! Husband. Father. Beachgoer. Wearer of plunging v-necks.

COMMENTS