One of the questions I get asked the most at networking events is how I’ve been able to build a location independent business.
I get questions like, “Wait, you can work from anywhere?” or “You have clients outside of the Miami area? How is that possible?” all the time. For some reason, it’s as if people think they are confined by their local communities or like it’s impossible to run a business from their laptop.
While I don’t necessarily understand why this is the case, I’m happy to share some of the ways you can build your own location independent business. But first, we must define what a location independence business actually is.
What is this location independent business thing?
A location independence business is simply a business that can be run from anywhere in the world so long as you have an internet connection. It doesn’t require an office, it doesn’t require an in-person staff and it doesn’t require you to only do business in your local community.
Thanks to the internet you can take you work anywhere, build a virtual team and have clients all over the world if you so choose.
Okay that sounds great and all, but how do I got about actually building this business?
You have to move as much of your business online as possible (or, as in my case, move all of your business online). This means you may have to let go of some old school beliefs like having an office is essential and start embracing all technology can do for you. Below you’ll find some more specifics about building a location independent business.
Build a Presence Online
One of the major components to building a location independent business is to build an online presence. This is so people from all over the globe can actually find you and hire you. It also lets people know what you’re up to.
Building a presence online takes some time and you by no means need to have the perfect brand to start making money, but it is something you need to pay attention to if you want to build a solid location independent business.
Use Online Tools
There is an online tool for just about every business essential you can think of. You can get a business phone number for a low cost with Skype. Try doing invoicing online with Due. You can do project management with your team with programs like Basecamp and Asana.
With all of these things available, there’s pretty much no excuse to not move your business online.
Get Comfortable With Telecommuting
Thanks to the internet there is almost no need to actually have in-person meetings or even look at your team members every day. Granted, there are instances in which it’s better to do stuff in person, but Skype or Google Hangouts can handle most of that.
If you want a location independent business you’re going to have to get comfortable with building a virtual team and allowing them to telecommute. This also means you’re going to have to get extra good when it comes to delegating.
Build Automated Systems
The best way to take advantage of a location independent business is to leverage technology to build systems and processes that are automatic.
For example, there’s no need to email back and forth to set up a meeting when you can use online schedulers like TimeTrade and Acuity. Simply send a link to the person who wants a meeting (you can even set this up to occur automatically if they purchase something from you) and they take care of the rest.
Another example is that of email marketing. There are several online services out there that can help you automate your emails and marketing so you and your team can use your newfound time to make money.
Building a location independent business may have more to do with shifting a mindset than actually setting up a bunch of systems or using online tools. If you can do the former then the latter will become much easier.