How to Run a Business While Traveling the World?
Traveling while managing a full-time business hasn’t been simple, but it’s been one of the most rewarding decisions I’ve ever made. At the age of 26, I quit my corporate job to explore business while continuing to follow my passion for travel. It taught me that you don’t have to pick between being a broke backpacker and putting your career on hold: you can travel the globe while still building something amazing. Here are some tips for running a company while traveling the world.
BACKGROUND: I’ve been running a small business in the Philippines for over 6 years. We create corporate gifts and promotional products for both domestic and international companies. We have a production facility and a storehouse with over 15 employees. I manage payrolls, oversee projects, conduct client-supplier meetings, and take care of logistics as necessary on various days of the week.
Sounds complicated huh?
EDIT: Unfortunately, my company was unable to withstand the pandemic, so I was driven to manage a family business. Same responsibilities apply though.
There is a method to bring everything back into equilibrium. It takes discipline, but it is doable if you create a timetable based on your personal rhythm.
1. Think About How Much Time Off You Have
Weekends might be entirely obvious, but they are important when it comes to travel plans. A year with 52 weekends means 104 days off. When you combine this with around ten non-working holidays, you get 114 days off. Also, whoever came up with the idea of having a public holiday on a Monday or a Friday deserves an award.
2. Plan Your Trip
My trips are mainly scheduled around the weekends. When I go locally, I take a late afternoon/evening Friday flight (or ride) and a Sunday night flight for a short weekend jaunt – that’s two full days of adventure. #WeekendWarrior If I’m going on an overseas vacation, I limit myself to five days so I’m not gone for too long. If I need to be away for an extended amount of time, I always bring my laptop with me so that I can get things done and catch up on work.
The secret to making your vacation truly enjoyable is to prepare customers for your absence. Make sure to communicate your plans with your clients and keep them up to date on how you’re handling things away from the office and how long you’ll be gone. If you have clients that are prone to procrastination, inform them that you will be leaving (or will be unavailable) several days before your vacation. You won’t have to deal with their last-minute requests when you should be packed and preparing to depart.
4. Leave Detailed Instructions
Before you embark on this journey, make sure that you have trusted people behind. Otherwise, you won’t want to go anywhere else. Give them specific directions on what has to be done while you are away. I delegate problem-solving responsibilities to one employee, but let the others know that if that person isn’t available, they may and should address any situations that require quick attention. I also instruct them to notify me of the issue’s resolution.
5. A Stable Internet Connection is a MUST
When running a business, you must be reachable the majority of the time. Expect to get phone calls from clients or employees while you’re on vacation. This is why I always carry a portable WiFi router with me. Making and receiving international calls is costly, especially if you do it frequently and for extended periods of time. There is a way to save money on this; you may communicate with them using Viber or other applications. Options that rely on the internet will save you more money because they are less expensive than making a phone call. You also don’t have to hunt for cafes or rely on your hotel for internet access.
6. Set Vacation Rules for Yourself
I understand. You can’t leave your business entirely behind when on vacation. You will be tempted to do so. Set a time of day and a time restriction for checking in on the business to avoid this. For example, give yourself a half-hour every morning to check emails and another half-hour before or after supper to ensure that your trip isn’t all business and no play.
To put it simply, life is short, and travel is important, especially if you run a small business. It allows you to recharge your batteries, relax, and return to work with a clear mind. You work hard, therefore you deserve to have some fun as well.