It certainly sounds like the dream life. The chance to travel wherever the whim takes you, swapping your boring office for a hammock strung over a crystal sea or a pavement café in a far-flung city. But for more and more people, the life of the digital nomad is becoming a reality. As the world gets more connected, it’s becoming increasingly easy to run a successful business while travelling the world. So how can you join them and take your business on the road?
Of course, not every venture is suited to the lifestyle of a digital nomad. If your startup requires a lot of equipment, technology or product storage then obviously it won’t be easy to pack it all up and move to an island in South East Asia – but there are still options to consider. If you’re working in a team, for example, why not take it in turns to complete tasks such as admin, social media marketing and design that can easily be done from a computer abroad? You’ll each get chance to enjoy an adventure, and your business won’t suffer as a result.
Of course, there are an increasing number of professions that can be done with little more than a laptop, a WiFi connection and your brainpower. If you’re lucky enough to have one of these, the world truly is your oyster – but there are a few things to consider before heading off into the sunset. Most importantly, research the quality of internet in your chosen destination. There’s nothing more frustrating than trying to deal with large files on a connection akin to ‘90s dial-up, so check your facts first and make sure everything matches up to what you need. Also, it’s worth noting that although the cost of living in places like Thailand or South America might be much cheaper than the UK, the cost of staying in hotels and eating in restaurants every day will soon add up. If it’s a long trip, look into the possibility of sharing accommodation with other travellers and investigate whether you can join a local co-working space. Nowadays, these are cropping up everywhere from desert islands to rainforests - so it’s definitely worth seeing what’s out there.
The final thing to remember is that, while you’ll be having the time of your life, not all your potential clients will want to work with someone who appears to be jet-setting around the world. To avoid giving them the wrong idea, why not use a virtual office for the duration of your travels? For a nominal fee, these services will receive all your mail, scan it and forward it to an email address of your choice – meaning you can give off the impression of receiving your mail at a smart London office address while in reality you’re sunning yourself in the Caribbean. The perfect crime!? ;)