As an independent professional with your own business, you make a lot of decisions about how to work, where to work, when to work, and if it’s working. If you shift your business into digital nomad mode, these are still the decisions you must make. The difference is in the answers, and those answers are critical to the growth of your business.
What makes a digital nomad successful? It is pretty much the same as a stationary professional:
- Be responsive
- Keep commitments
- Set accurate expectations
- Resolve unexpected issues quickly
- Strive for a competitive edge.
The difference will often be how you get there. Here are tips to help take those business success factors on the road with you.
1. Choose Your Work Environment Wisely
When booking accommodation, or if you’re already at your destination, think about the kind of physical space you need to work most effectively. Will the ambiance support your productivity? Will you be able to have online meetings without background distractions or noise?
2. Be Prepared to Communicate More
It’s possible that the level of client communication will be the same as before you went digital nomad. On the other hand, you may find that you need to be in touch more frequently, at least at first, to assure your client that you are producing the same great results.
3. Have More Than One Way to Reach Your Client
Make sure you have multiple communication channels in place and that your client knows about them. If your primary channel isn’t working, you will have alternatives and can keep making progress.
4. Keep Your Client Updated on Your Itinerary
Though your work will be virtual, it’s important to let your client know where you are or plan to be. Aside from figuring out time zone differences, it helps them anticipate any adjustments to routines or schedules that might need to be made.
5. Have a Plan B for Connectivity
Even in the most technologically up-to-date locations, things can happen. The router that you’ve been counting on may go down. Bandwidth may suddenly become an issue and slow you way down. Having an alternative like a local coffee shop with WiFi or your own mobile hotspot can keep you on track.
6. Expect to Put in Similar Hours at Work
If your workload is the same as it was before you left, being a digital nomad won’t decrease the time you need to produce results. In fact, at least at first, you may need to put in more hours as you adjust to new work routines and environments.
7. Take the Newest Technology You Can
Your business relies on technology no matter where it is. As a digital nomad, the farther you travel, the less chance you might have to purchase new equipment or get your devices fixed. Invest in current equipment and applications before you go and make sure everything works properly.
8. Carry Extras for Anything Your Work Relies On
Forgetting your computer power cord on the train, having a battery die, or a device charger that stops working are crises that can stop you in your tracks. Pack extras of key “work enablers” so that if one of them goes bad or gets left behind you won’t miss a beat.
9. Think Cybersecurity
Make sure you are protecting your work and your client’s data. Use a VPN and virus protection. Be careful about what’s displayed on your screen in public places. Follow your client’s (and your own) cybersecurity policies.
10. Network with Other Nomads
Networking is as much a key to success for a digital nomad as it is for a stationary professional. In addition to getting tips and information about your location and plans, getting to know other nomads can lead to interesting business opportunities. Plus, they can make great sightseeing companions.
Bonus Tip: Give Yourself Time to Adjust
If this is a new work style for you, give yourself time to adapt to new routines and to your location. Even if you’re a veteran digital nomad, plan for time to adjust when you change locations.
Interested in digital nomad trends? Download our new research to get a detailed view.