In today’s digital era, the world has become our playground, inviting people to explore new places while working remotely. Whether you're a seasoned wedding planner, a talented photographer, or any other event professional, the possibility of taking your business on the road has never been more accessible.
Whether you’re heading off to network at an industry conference or spend a week relaxing by the beach, you’ll likely want to stay connected to your business while away—even if you are not committing to full work days.
However, you may encounter challenges when looking to balance travel and work. That's why it’s vital to incorporate various strategies to optimize workflows, so you can head out on the road without worrying about your bottom line. Here’s how to stay in the loop when you’re out of the office.
Use different apps
Productivity apps such as FocusList will help you manage your tasks from afar. You can prioritize different projects while arranging your schedule in a way that enables you to maximize productivity. Apps like Asana and ClickUp will also help you delegate tasks to your team, monitoring their completion so you know things are getting done even while you’re gone.
Establish your accessibility
Unless you’re looking to fully unplug (which all business owners should do at least once a year!), set expectations with your team and clients for your accessibility throughout your trip. Share the best ways they can reach you and what to do if something pops up when you’re unavailable. For example, by asking your team to call you only during an emergency, you’ll know to answer the phone when it rings.
Set aside time for email
If you want to keep up with the pulse of your company, set aside time to check your email daily. This might mean 15 minutes before breakfast or after dinner. If you don’t have time to deal with emails, consider outsourcing your inbox management to a virtual assistant who can let you know what needs your attention. Taking care of your email while on the road will ensure you aren’t drowning in messages upon your return!
Designate your workspace
Whether you’re staying with family or in a hotel room, there’s a good chance you can find a quiet space to set up shop while you’re out of town. A small desk or a guest bedroom will make due for your brief time away! Put your computer, planner, and other work-related items in this area. Doing so lets you enjoy the rest of your time and head to your makeshift office whenever you need to check in.
Create a schedule
Setting a schedule allows you to keep work separate from your other responsibilities, whether a lunch date with your kids or a trip to the tradeshow floor. If you’re in a different time zone, it’s especially crucial to define set “office hours.” More than letting your team and clients know how to reach you, let them know when they can expect you to be online. Creating a schedule also means scheduling time for when you’re out of the office (which may end up being most of the day!). Even if you’re just checking in for 30 minutes, set this schedule and stick to it while you’re gone.
Debrief when you return
Once you’re back in the office, set aside time to debrief with your team. They can catch you up on anything you missed and what needs your immediate attention. If you have trouble handing over the reins, consider having one of your team members send you an end-of-day recap message. Inside, they can share what they did and what you might need to address.
Owning a business might present challenges when traveling, but success is well within reach when you have the right tools, strategies, and mindset. Technology allows us to maintain seamless communication with clients and teams, ensuring that distance doesn't hinder our ability to create extraordinary experiences!
Kevin Dennis is the owner of Fantasy Sound Event Services, a full-service event company based in Livermore, California. Dennis is the immediate past chapter president for Silicon Valley NACE, and national vice president for WIPA.