7 Tips To Creating More Freedom When Freelancing On The Road

By on November 1, 2012

By Natalie Sisson –

So you’re a freelancer or contractor and want to take your business on the road. After all, isn’t this kind of ‘freedom’ one of the biggest perks of flexible working arrangements?

Thanks to a few handy apps, self-discipline and routine, you can pick up and plant yourself on a beach without your freelance business missing a beat.

So how do you go about doing this? Here are seven tips for getting started.

Get Your Finances Organized

I know this may sound boring or scary, but honestly it’s so important and not that difficult. Freelancers often have multiple income sources, each client can be using different payment methods and paying at different intervals. So it’s a good idea to save up a bit of a buffer before leaving, ensuring you’re not left stranded if a payment doesn’t go through – you don’t want to come home just to cash a cheque! It’s a good idea to give a close family member access to your accounts so they can manage any unexpected hiccups without you actually being there in person.

Take Your Banking Online

Online business bank accounts are a great idea as you can manage all your transactions by logging in from your computer, and there’s no need to drop into local branches to sort out your account balance. You can make and receive payments online, get sound advice and keep your personal and business accounts separate so that it is easy to keep track of business expenditure. Several high street banks offer a set period free if you are just starting out, a great added incentive!

Establish Your Daily Routine

While away, set up a routine – this will benefit both yourself and your clients. Check and respond to emails at a regular time each day. Let your clients know that this is the best time to reach you online or by phone. Use a client booking and calendar system like TimeTrade to block out your travel times and manage communications. It sets their expectations for what time turn around time they can expect from you and when you can deliver their work, and it factors in lost time due to lack of Internet or tech issues while on the road.

Get Your Skype On

Speaking of talking to your clients from the road – avoid excess charges by getting a local SIM or using VoIP apps like Skype. You can pay to have a Skype phone number so clients have a consistent way to reach you, and you can pick it up on Wi-Fi no matter what country you’re in.

Minimize Distractions

It also pays to introduce some new habits to help you discipline yourself and be productive while away. It’s tempting to get distracted by social media, posting photos of your fabulous beachside office or researching your next destination. Try keeping your work and personal life in separate browser windows – and only check your personal window at allocated times (i.e. on the hour for 5 minutes.)

Create A Digital Office

If you’re planning on adopting this digital nomad lifestyle long-term, consider using a virtual office. This becomes your business ‘front’ with a consistent number, address and even a receptionist to take messages and forward calls. To your clients, you work out of a professional office in Manchester, while in reality the receptionist is transferring their call to your mobile on the Canary Islands!

Put Your Biz In The Cloud

Additionally there are many apps that can help you with time management and accessing data, particularly if you are traveling between time zones. Dropbox is an easy way to sync all your files across varied devices, so if you are simply taking a small and portable device on your travels you can quickly access all documents in ‘the cloud’. Google Apps can additionally prove to be very useful, why not try Google Docs or Google Reader?

With the right tools and services, like mobile apps and virtual offices, you really can get away and enjoy the perks of freelancing without missing out on work.

Just remember to create more freedom in your life, you do need to instill discipline and systems while on the road. If you put these tips to good use, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a full-time freelancing freedom lover.

 

Natalie Sisson is a Suitcase Entrepreneur who is on a mission to ensure others create freedom in business and adventure in life using online tools, social media and outsourcing to build a thriving online business you can take anywhere. She created the $100 Change Program so you can create a business you love for $100 or less with advice and mentoring from 100 Change Makers over 100 days.

About Natalie Sisson

Natalie Sisson is a Suitcase Entrepreneur (http://suitcaseentrepreneur.com/) who is on a mission to ensure others create freedom in business and adventure in life. She blogs about how best to use online tools, social media and outsourcing to build a thriving online business you can take anywhere. Over at the Suitcase Entrepreneur she offers free resources and tools, digital products and programs and business design coaching to ensure you create your ideal lifestyle. She’s also founded the $100 Change (http://suitcaseentrepreneur.com/change/) Initiative to empower hundreds of other entrepreneurs to start a business or project they love for $100.

One Comment

  1. Amandah

    November 14, 2012 at 12:01 pm

    Great tips!

    Make sure you have your finances in order before you leave. Freelancers who use Google can use Google Video and Chat. It’s not a bad service and works just as good as Skype. Make sure you let your clients know you’re hitting the road. You don’t want to find out through Twitter, Facebook, etc. Happy traveling and freelancing!

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7 Tips To Creating More Freedom When Freelancing On The Road