By Jerry Dettweiler
Although the terms “location-independent entrepreneur” and “teleworker” are ubiquitous now, they had yet to get into the lexicon when I started telecommuting years ago. So when I recently left for Europe to try to work from abroad, I thought running a freelance work site would be a piece of cake.
A week later, though, PayPal froze access to my trading account and I had to jump through many hoops to get it back. Other websites I rely on behaved differently once they found out I was outside the US, forcing me to find workarounds. A credit card payment was flagged by the bank after it was discovered that it had been paid from a new location.
Obviously, I still have a lot to learn about working remotely and running a site-independent company.
“There are many things you must consider, prepare for, and adapt to in order to achieve success as a remote entrepreneur,” warns David McNeill, founder of Expat Empire, a consulting service that supports entrepreneurs in moving their businesses offshore. .
“In addition to managing payment providers across multiple currencies, hoping websites won’t lock your account when traveling to new destinations, and balancing work time with fun when exploring a new location, there are many issues you may encounter needing to deal with your global team, customer base and partners ‘, he explains.
Here I asked McNeill and other entrepreneurs on the site to share their strategies for operating successfully from anywhere. As I share my own advice, I learned firsthand.
10 Tips for Running a Freelance Website
Tip #1: Spring for a good stay
Advice from Tom Blake, owner This world is online, a personal finance media company that teaches people how to make money online and turn into a free and financially independent website. Blake ran his company out of Florida, Columbia, and Dubai; He is currently in Florida and plans to head to Europe soon:
“It can be tempting to cut costs when you’re on the road, especially if your business is in its infancy and you’re trying to stay lean. However, your accommodations are one of the most important budget categories when traveling. You don’t just need to be somewhere safe and secure, But the quality of your sleep plays a big role in how productive you are when you live in a new place.Moreover, you should not take conveniences like a reliable internet connection for granted; many countries do not have strong internet as a default option.
“I learned this lesson while running my business in Colombia, during which time I booked a private room in a hostel-style Airbnb. Between the noise and the Wi-Fi dropping every 10 minutes, I had to book a private office in a coworking space, which cost about $400 a month.With this extra expense, I could have easily booked my own condo with better amenities and some peace and quiet.
“Things like flights, entertainment and tourism-related activities are areas where you can cut costs. But when it comes to being a location-independent entrepreneur, your accommodations are one area of your budget, and you shouldn’t cut back on it.”
Tip #2: Plan for quiet times
Advice from Matt Rothenberg, Founder surelyOnline life insurance company. Ruttenberg worked from an RV in 2020 and is currently looking for a new home base for his independent business site:
“Finding time for a Zoom call or a conference call was much more difficult than my original expectations, especially when sharing an RV with the family. It takes a lot of organization to find a place with good internet and silence. You will need to plan ahead to find a local library or coffee shop. Or a co-working space because you can’t get it done in an RV. Next, you’ll need to find out if they offer Wi-Fi, or if your hotspot has service at that location, all while finding a nice backdrop for a call But if you can master the art of planning ahead, you will learn it very quickly.”
Tip #3: Set your working hours
Advice from Andrew Pearce, attorney and founder WyomingLLC.com, which constitutes a business, acts as a registered agent, and provides postal and supporting virtual office solutions. Pierce spends more than 250 nights a year traveling.
“I adjust my sleep schedule to better fit my team. It can make traveling more difficult, but in the end you have to be there for your team even if that means less sleep, or keeping odd hours.
“To make it work depends on how many hours you’re on your team. When I’m in Europe I’m often six hours ahead of the US East Coast, which means late nights, but I’m free to explore in the mornings. In Asia that can mean a 12-hour time difference – that’s I mean some early morning and maybe a nap in the afternoon.”
Tip 4: Spring for a good Wi-Fi
Advice from Jacob Wade, founder money roadmap, a personal finance site that helps readers learn how to budget, pay off debt, and start investing for retirement. Wade is also a financial coach and freelance writer. From 2018 to 2020, Wade worked on an RV, traveling to 38 states with his wife and children.
“Reliable internet is a must for my business, and traveling around the US has created connectivity challenges. We were able to stay connected using a Verizon leased plan that offered unlimited (and unrestricted) 4G LTE internet. We also purchased a Cradlepoint mobile router, Which can be connected to the RV.Provide a convenient signal to work in or out of the RV.
“When the Verizon signal wasn’t available, most campgrounds offered free Wi-Fi in the public pavilion area or throughout the park. When that failed, Starbucks was my go-to for reliable internet and mediocre coffee.”
Tip #5: Plan how to pay for purchases
Advice from Sa El, co-founder of Simply insurance, an online insurance agency and insurance education blog. El and his husband, Aten-Re El, run their businesses out of several US states, and will operate out of Colombia next year.
“Notify your financial institutions that you will be traveling to. If your card is denied due to fraud because your bank thinks you are at home, you may be in a situation where you cannot access your money. And be careful about carrying a lot of cash, as this may cause you to fall into Problems with the authorities when you enter the country. This happened to us on our last visit to Mexico.”
More articles from AllBusiness.com:
Tip #6: Reduce your equipment
Advice from Chhavi Agarwal, co-founder of Mrs. Dako’s studioIt is a blog, YouTube channel, and academy with tips for working from home, ebooks, courses, and training. Agarwal works while traveling across India.
“It is important to find equipment that is easy to travel with. I have created rules for myself that help me eliminate the need to carry certain equipment. For example, I either create batch video content for my YouTube channel before I leave for another location, or shoot in the morning So I don’t have to carry extra lights (which are huge).
“Plus, I invested in an iPhone 12 so I could use it for 4K shooting, which means I don’t have to carry a camera. Over time, I’ve discovered the technical items that are absolutely necessary, items that can be combined with others, and items that are not important to carry at all. Make sure you understand how to work efficiently with minimal equipment.”
Tip #7: Make your business as flexible as possible
Advice from Susi Kaeufer, founder Dreamlife DeluxeIt is a mentoring and coaching work for women entrepreneurs. Kaeufer has been a full-time nomad since 2017, running her own independent business from around the world, including Australia, Europe and Asia.
“Make your business as flexible as possible so you can operate it from anywhere in the world, regardless of time zone or internet connection quality. We communicate a lot via the Voxer app. It’s a free text and voice messaging app that works well for talking back and forth. Instead of having to sit around In a quiet location and organizing a video conference call, I can answer my clients or team members on the go.I don’t even need a great Wi-Fi – the voice message will be cached until it’s fully loaded.
“Plus, I schedule all of my client’s calls on Tuesdays, which leaves me six days a week where I can travel and explore whenever I want.”
Tip #8: Take advantage of email
Advice from Blaire Brown, founder BlaireBrown.com, a branding strategy firm that assists entrepreneurs and small businesses with their branding and marketing initiatives. Brown has worked in multiple states on the East Coast.
“As a marketing agency owner, I must stay on top of my best self when it comes to consistent communication and communication. My email list is one of my best assets. Getting an automated email system setup is critical to me at all times, Especially when I travel.When I recently moved from Maryland to Florida, I didn’t have to worry about having to play around with my clients because I had already planned my emails in advance through my email provider, Flodesk.
“I love Flodesk because it is tailored to my audience of mostly creative entrepreneurs, so its templates and brand customization capabilities make emails more engaging and more open to opening. It makes my life easier with workflow functionality, popup forms, and landing pages as well. By setting up tasks Workflow and automation, I can handle big moves across the country, travel whenever I want to continue with confidence that I never miss a thing in running my business.”
Tip #9: Document processes for new employees
Advice from David McNeill, founder expatriate empireA podcast, website, and counseling service that helps people move and work abroad. McNeil has worked from several countries, including Japan, Germany and now Portugal.
“Since you probably won’t be physically located in the same place as the new team members you are setting up, it is a good idea to create brochures to send to new team members so they can join themselves through your tools and processes. Provide an overview of their job responsibilities and how they will be assessed , an overview of all the tools they will need, locations in your file management system where they can find key documents, and contact information for team members they should contact if they have questions.This guide should contain all the information they will require to perform their work.
“It is good practice to spend some time thinking about what it will be like when you are a new employee at your remote company, what you would want to know and experience if you were in that position, and then work backwards to create that experience for all of the new team members.”
Tip #10: Install a VPN
This is my own advice for running a location-independent business, which I’ve discovered the hard way during my current travels through England, France and Portugal:
Install a VPN before leaving the United States. I could have avoided many headaches if I had done this. I doubt PayPal would have prevented me from logging into my account had my computer not registered an external IP address, for example. As soon as I realized my mistake, I had some problems installing the VPN from abroad. It was a big hassle. In the end I managed to install one. Once I set it to Florida, my problems were resolved.
About the author
Gerri Detweiler has been helping individuals and small business owners make smarter credit and financing decisions for more than two decades; follow her Twitter and LinkedIn. See Jerry’s articles and full bio at AllBusiness.com.
Related: 5 tips for better online meetings that help employees feel connected