One of the great things about running an online business is being able to work from anywhere. Thanks to Tim Ferris’ book, The 4-Hour Work Week, many people have developed an interest in the concept of running a business from wherever they want.
If you ask online marketers and entrepreneurs why they wanted to work online, most will probably give you that as the answer (in addition to the money, of course!).
Being able to work from anywhere is a dream for most people, and for successful bloggers and online business owners, this is the reality. But it’s not always as easy as simply having a laptop and a connection to the internet – and you’re good to go.
There’s a lot more going on behind the scenes when it comes to successful internet businesses.
Running an online business involves the use of various types of software and there are times when it’s almost impossible to make the data totally portable. And for those of us with more than one computer, there’s the issue of syncing that data between multiple devices.
For instance, say you have a desktop machine in your home, as well as a notebook computer. You may want to be able to do work on either device without having to constantly pay attention to where your data is, and whether you have the most recent or updated version of a specific file on the device that you’re using…
Multiply that problem by the hundreds and possibly thousands of computer files that you have in your business, and that’s a recipe for disaster. Sooner or later, you are going to overwrite one thing or another, and lose part of your work. I’ve been there, and I can tell you that it sucks! I’m willing to bet that a fair percentage of other bloggers out there have done it too.
But, we want to live our lives on the go.
It’s part of the reason why we chose this line of business in the first place (for most of us, anyway). We don’t want to be tied to any one location – or computer. The good news is that these days there’s technology that can make this extremely easy for you. So read on to find out which tools can make the difference in your own business.
1. Checking Email
When it comes to getting portable, email is usually a top priority. Being portable is a little more difficult when using offline programs like Thunderbird or Outlook because you’ll either need to make one of your devices the ‘lead’ computer so that you can remotely access it, or you’ll need to move that data file around.
One of the drawbacks with this method is that you have to leave your desktop on the whole time, and if something happens to it, such as a hard drive crash, you’ll have no email. The best way to get the most portability is to use a service that is web-based such as Yahoo Mail or Gmail from Google.
You never have to worry about losing emails since it’s on the internet, and in addition to the user interfaces being easy to use and packed full of useful features, you can also continue to use your own domain without having to change your address.
This area is a vital part of going mobile. Just as with everything else, you don’t want to have all of your documents on a single device. In order to make all your documents portable, you’ll need to use web-based services like Google Docs and Spreadsheets.
This type of program actually allows you to write documents and create spreadsheets directly from your browser. You’re even able to organize them into folders and it’s super easy to save those documents to your device if that’s what you want to do. Having those files online makes them easily accessible from anywhere.
With Google, you also get amazing document sharing capabilities which allow team collaboration.
Another option that you can use is to back up your files online to make it easy for you to pull them from other machines. There are many backup services that you can use including Carbonite’s data protection platform that is specifically designed for businesses. You not only get 2 Gigs of storage free, but you also need never worry about remembering to back up your files as everything is automated.
This is obviously crucial to the success of your online business and you need to ensure that your finances are in order at all times. A lot of online business owners use Quickbooks, and you can use your online backup service to automatically back up your Quickbooks file.
You can then pull the file from any other computer if you need to. While this isn’t essentially what portability really means, because to be totally portable, you’d have to use Quickbooks Online, it’s still better than the alternative. You can get a free trial for 30 days and experience the full features and capabilities of this Windows-based software.
In order to be completely portable, you obviously can’t be tied to the traditional landline phone. Of course, you could use call forwarding to have the calls follow you wherever you go, but that’s just creating a hassle for yourself.
What you need to do is use the Internet for all your voice communications. Acquiring a VOIP line is actually a great idea for everyone who is in business online and wants to make it portable. You can turn your PC into a phone using services like Vonage, and when someone leaves you a voicemail message, you receive it in your email inbox.
You can check your email from anywhere, and this makes your business more portable. To further cut down on costs, you can even use Skype, but it’s not as dependable as Vonage.
5. Managing Contacts
Yet another important aspect of creating a mobile business involves the ability to access contacts from anywhere. With regards to online CRM, Salesforce.com is the clear winner. They give you a free account to try out their service before you actually commit.
You run this program on your web browser and it’s highly customizable. They also have a massive library called the AppExchange which makes it even easier to personalize everything.
6. Time Management
One of the best online calendar tools that you can use to enhance your time management efforts is Google Calendar. It’s free, has a great interface, and allows you to share your schedule with others – kind of like what you can do in the Microsoft Exchange server.
You can also set up Google Calendar to automatically email your daily agenda to you each morning, and even send notifications to your phone. There are many other venues that you can explore for your to-do list, and even a simple document on Google Docs will do. Other options that you can use include web apps like Tadalist.
When using more than one computer or device, it’s best to have your bookmarks follow you. Depending on which browser you’re using, you can get an add-on that will sync your bookmarks on all your devices. This means that you can bookmark stuff regardless of where you are and it will automatically appear on your desktop at home and on all other synced devices.
8. Online Storage For Random Stuff
There are times when you need a virtual drive to store miscellaneous files. There are many free and paid options to do this, including Box, DropBox, Google Drive, and Apple iCloud. Most of these cloud storage solutions offer free storage and all of them allow you to access your files either via the web, a wireless device, or your own file explorer.
8 Tips To Help You Run Your Business From Anywhere: The Bottom Line
As you can see, we could go on and on, but the main takeaway here is that in order for you to be able to run your business from anywhere, you have to take a look at each and every aspect of your online business to determine which applications you can make use of to turn your business mobile.
The range of options available to us today is simply staggering, but that doesn’t mean you should overwhelm yourself trying to make a choice. From online mind mapping tools to online image editing and every other tool you could need, what it all comes down to is:
Convenience and Portability.
Our technology is fast taking us toward a distributed computing environment, and the web is the computer. With the passage of time, we’re more likely to move toward computing that is accessible from anywhere and also distributed storage. We are going to be less dependent on individual computers to store things for us.
This is great news for those who have no desire to be tied down and want to live their lives (and run their businesses) on the go.
There are already tons of services on the market that allow you to work from any computer, no matter where you are in the world, as long as you have an internet connection. When it comes to making things easier, Google is one of the major players.
There are, however, some security issues that come into play with regards to going mobile with your business using Google’s services – as with any other online service – but it’s good to know that Google has never had an incident of account breaches or data loss.
Still, some people are wary of entrusting so much of their information to Google’s servers.
But others are loving Google’s slick and convenient offerings (not to mention the awesome lack of price tags…)
Now that you know what you need to do to get mobile, it’s time to share a little more about life as a Professional Blogger (and being your own boss) with those of you who are just getting started.
I’ve been a professional blogger for some time, but even though I run a successful site now, getting to where I’m at wasn’t a smooth journey. It took lots of researching, mistakes, and hard work for me to finally make it in the online marketing arena.
For those of you who are just starting out and want to know what it takes to finally live the dream:
- Time Freedom
- Money Freedom
- Location Freedom
The answer is simple: It takes time, some money, and a whole lot of hard work!
But the good news is that once you get started building your business (with the right systems and the right tools, of course…), and once the momentum gets going, then everything gets easier and easier.
Depending on how much time, money, and effort you’re investing in it, you will eventually get to a point where you have a business that you can run from anywhere in the world. Not only that, you’ll be able to automate most of the tasks meaning that you’ll have more time to do other things you love.
If you set up your business machine right, you’ll even be able to make money whether you’re working on your business or not, and you could have money flowing in even while you sleep (passive income business model).
All this CAN and WILL happen as long as you create a plan for what you want, and then follow it to completion.
This blog was created for just that!
We have a massive collection of articles on every subject to do with Internet Marketing, and within our blog archives, you will find everything you need to know about how to create an online business, launch your blog (in as little as 14 days), as well as how you can grow and scale it to any level that you want.
All it takes is patience, research, and the ability to act on what you’ve learned here and you’ll have your very own super-successful online business in no time. So use the vast resources on our blog to get started right now!
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