Essential Steps to Managing Your Business as a Digital Nomad
The digital nomad lifestyle has been increasing in popularity in recent years. The advent of the internet has made it easier than ever to work remotely from wherever in the world you want, and many are exploiting this opportunity.
However, there are numerous pitfalls that accompany this lifestyle. The self-management element of any business requires a lot of discipline and structure, and this can be hard to keep track of when constantly on the move. These fives steps cover each of the essential points that are paramount to consider if you want to manage a successful nomadic business.
A common problem that arises for digital nomads is that they haven’t given enough thought to the niche and audience of their business. They focus too heavily on creating a life that allows them geographical freedom and forget that they have to develop a functional and worthwhile business to succeed.
While online businesses do have the potential for wider audiences, if you spread yourself too thin, then it’s highly likely you won’t make the impact you’re looking for. Readers and users are looking for expert information and services, so take the time to find a niche that you can excel in and focus all of your energy on that. There are loads of great resources that can help you hone down your target audience, so it’s always worth putting in the work!
Many digital nomads are attracted to the lifestyle because they are avid travelers. While it’s true that it’s by far the best career choice to support long-term travel, there are a few drawbacks that come from living this way. Trying to balance sightseeing, adventuring and exploring with holding down a full-time job can be difficult. Because of this, it’s advisable to create a set schedule to make sure you can easily manage your workload.
Some people opt to work mornings and spend the afternoons enjoying themselves, whereas others will schedule a few set days of work every week and take their leisure time on their days off. Either way, it’s important to have a realistic view of your workload and give yourself the necessary time to complete it.
Similarly, staying organized and keeping track of everything—particularly for paperwork-heavy businesses—can be a nightmare when you’re working remotely. Files can easily get lost, deleted or corrupted in transit and important work can be gone forever. While there’s no way to get over the memory glitches that usually cause this to happen, it is important to make sure you have a backup in place.
Using Google’s selection of apps, including Google Docs and Google Drive, can be an excellent way to avoid catastrophes of this nature. By keeping a backup online, you can quickly retrieve work that’s been accidentally deleted. It’s also an excellent way to share files with other team members. However, it’s also recommended that you keep a physical backup on an external hard drive, as even cloud services are not immune to corrupting. Alongside this, Offcloud is a nifty tool that lets you back up anything from the web, making it perfect for organizing, and keeping track of, all of your online resources
Often, nomadic business owners work with a team, or individual collaborators, online. Obviously, in these situations it’s almost impossible to meet up in person, so streamlining your communication systems is essential to ensure your businesses success.
Fortunately, the rise in online workers means there have been several great apps and platforms designed specifically for this purpose. Slack is becoming a favored option for keeping team members up to date, having discussions, brainstorming ideas and sharing stats, results and other relevant information. Similarly, Trello is fantastic for project based work as it allows you to split up each task, comment and upload files into cards and ensure the right person has been updated on anything that needs to be done.
Finally, and perhaps most often overlooked, online security is a massive part of managing any internet business. The standard advice, such as using security suites and firewalls, is still relevant for digital nomads; however there’s another tool that this line of work specifically requires.
Because working remotely usually involves connecting to public WiFi, which are notoriously unsecure networks, you dramatically increase your risk of falling into the hands of malicious hackers and having your data stolen. Online identity theft is becoming increasingly common, and an infiltration could be the end of your business and its reputation. To avoid falling victim to this, it’s important to use a good Virtual Private Network, such as Proxy.sh or IPVanish, to encrypt your data and allow you to connect to any network securely.
These five steps are a great place to start to successfully manage your business as a digital nomad; however, there are so many more tips, tricks and tools available.
If you know of anything else that you feel should be on this list or have experience with the points already mentioned, be sure to leave a comment below!