Running your own business doesn’t mean you have to stay in one place.
In an increasingly digital world, many businesses don’t need a physical office to be successful, and some of them will even take you on a perfect tropical beach.
Sure, managing a profitable startup while on the road as a nomad isn’t for the faint of heart.
However, growing a business while also travelling the globe is possible and more common than you might think – as long as you have the right systems in place.
In this post, I’ll share a few considerations and tips to get you started as a nomad entrepreneur.
Let’s jump right into it.
Table of contents:
1. 5 Secrets to Running an Online Business While Travelling
Before exploring the best practices for running a business as a nomad entrepreneur, let’s clear up one point.
The best way to ensure your business won’t tie you to a specific location is to build a 100% online company, which will allow you to work from anywhere.
Unfortunately, there is still a common misconception that online businesses have limited risks.
The truth? Even if you’re running an online business, your responsibilities are the same as if you were operating a brick and mortar shop.
That’s why you need to be very clear on your rights and responsibilities when launching an online business in Australia (you can also establish your business overseas, but Australia is the option I will elaborate on).
For more information, visit these links:
So, even if you’re living a nomadic lifestyle, you must comply with Australia’s laws and regulations – if your business is based in Australia.
That being said, let’s have a closer look at the best practices for running a business while on the move.
1.1. Build Your Business at Home, First
The initial process of setting up your business should be done where you are physically present.
There are a handful of reasons why you may want to build your business at home before hitting the road:
- It is easier to deal with bureaucracy and infrastructure at home so that you can work on your business’s growth while being on the move.
- Typically, it takes two or three years for a business to become profitable. So, if you count on your business’s cash flow to travel and don’t have an alternative revenue stream, it’s a good idea to start committing to your startup while at your home base.
- Starting your digital nomad journey while having a steady stream of cash flow is far less stressful than travelling while your business generates fluctuating revenue.
If you are confused where to start, here is a comprehensive post where I take the guesswork out of launching a business and provide you with the exact steps to follow – including how to choose a business structure, register your business with ASIC, and much more.
If you want to speed up the process and quickly get your startup off the ground, B2B HQ’s New Business Creation package can help you do just that (and a lot more).
We can get your new business completely set up in under a week and keep it running for less than $5 a day – all while providing you with the right tools to instantly generate leads and convert them into customers.
1.2. Get a Virtual Office and a Virtual Receptionist
Even though you’re able to work from anywhere with just a laptop and an Internet connection, professionalism is key to building a successful business.
This means that you can’t afford to look like an amateur and make your customers believe that you’re running a small, measly business.
If you want to enjoy the flexibility of working from anywhere and your business still seems credible, I suggest you explore the possibility of a virtual office.
A virtual office is specifically designed to allow you to work remotely while providing you with all the benefits of a brick-and-mortar office.
For example, with a B2B HQ virtual office, you’ll get a professional business address near Melbourne CBD, landline with call forwarding, mail handling services, and much more.
We help you live the “digital nomad” lifestyle and work from wherever you go while giving you an outward appearance of a permanent presence in your target market.
You may also need someone to handle calls and delegate basic tasks to while you’re travelling – especially if you are not reachable during Australian business hours due to time zone differences.
In that case, a 24/7 virtual receptionist can offer a solution. Virtual receptionists can work from anywhere, answer FAQs and even perform basic office assistant tasks.
Plus, they are extremely affordable. It’s a pretty sweet gig, perfect for nomad entrepreneurs running their businesses on a tight budget.
1.3. Adjust Your Lifestyle to Your Business
As a nomad entrepreneur, you have the opportunity to do business anywhere.
The freedom that comes with the ability to work on the road is priceless.
However, remember you need a good Internet connection wherever you plan on working. That’s why it is important to adjust your lifestyle to your business.
After all, you want your business to be your first priority and keep cash flow pumping – especially if the business you’re running is your main source of income.
For example, you may feel like Yemen is the perfect destination for a few-month trip. But did you know that Yemen has the world’s slowest Internet speed?
To put it briefly, you have to travel only to locations with fast and stable Internet connection.
If your Internet connection is patchy and slow and keeps dropping out it will affect your productivity and even frustrate customers or team members.
Also, be sure to check if the country you’re visiting has bans on the platforms you need to access while working.
For example, WhatsApp calling is restricted in the UAE. Vimeo is banned in Indonesia. Several social media platforms, including YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat are blocked in Iran.
In a nutshell, you’re free to live a nomadic life while growing your startup, but it is imperative to avoid those destinations that could affect the stability of your business.
Bonus tip: Whichever destination you choose, be sure to have an Internet backup plan (e.g., mobile Wi-Fi hotspot, local SIM card, etc.).
1.4. Manage Your Time Zones
One of the biggest challenges about being a nomad entrepreneur is managing your time zones as you travel around the world – especially if your primary customer base is located in Australia.
Sometimes it can be important to be accessible during your main business hours.
Maybe you don’t like to shift your sleep schedule, but you may need to adapt your sleep and work hours to be able to hold virtual meetings with clients.
However, the first rule of being a nomad entrepreneur is to handle as much communication as possible through video messaging and email.
When you’re halfway around the world, it’s good practice to avoid phone calls and Zoom meetings as much as you can.
Also, for virtual meetings that can’t be avoided, you should always use calendar invites.
Instead of working out different time zone conversions in your head, a meeting scheduling tool enables you to create time slots for an online meeting and send an invitation to your client.
Yes, it is genuinely annoying to work across time zones, but it is a small price to pay for the flexibility and independence that come with the digital nomad lifestyle.
1.5. Leverage the Apps and Tools at Your Disposal
The digital nomad lifestyle isn’t all rainbows and unicorns.
While exploring new destinations is incredibly satisfying and appealing, working remotely can often be a challenge – unless you leverage the tools at your disposal.
Automation tools can run while you’re on the road to help you maximise productivity and get work done faster.
Here are just a few of the apps and tools that can help you stay organised and connected while living a location independent life:
- Finance and money transfer: Wise (formerly TransferWise), Xe, WorldRemit, Stripe
- Project management: Kissflow, Trello, Asana, ClickUp
- Travel insurance for nomads: World Nomads, SafetyWing, Integra Global, PassportCard Nomads
- Skill building: Coursera, Udemy, SkillShare, MasterClass
- Note-taking: Notion, Evernote, Bear, Google Keep
- Accommodation: Booking.com, Priceline, Hotels.com, Agoda
- Cloud storage: Google Drive, Dropbox, WeTransfer, iCloud
- Travel planning: Wanderlog, Tripit, Skratch, Maps.me
- Flight booking: Momondo, Kayak, Skyscanner, Kiwi
- Social media scheduling: Agorapulse, SocialBee, Sendible, Missinglettr
- Expense tracking: QuickBooks, Expensify, Zoho Expense, Certify
- Communication: Avaya Cloud Office, Slack, Zoom, WhatsApp Business
- Productivity and automation: Friday, Zapier, Integromat, IFTTT
Bonus tip: Be sure to check the Visa requirements before travelling abroad. Here are a few Visa agencies that can help you find out whether or not you need a Visa for a particular country (and potentially help you prepare your Visa application): Visas Association, VisaHQ, TravelVisaPro.
Conclusion: Starting your digital nomad life requires a leap of faith.
However, with the right systems in place, you can account for any bumps in the road and quickly grow your business, even when travelling the globe.
Need a permanent address and a professional image for your online business? With a B2B HQ virtual office package you can enjoy the flexibility of working from anywhere while your clients and customers believe you’re operating from a traditional physical office.
At your discretion, our team will scan and send your mail to you so you are always up to date with important correspondence (statutory mail, invoices, etc.). Plus a myriad of other features and benefits that will help you grow a successful business and generate a monthly income that gives you the freedom to travel the world.