Working from a home office has become a pretty standard practice for many entrepreneurs. In fact, some have even taken telecommuting to the next level by taking their businesses completely mobile.
Whether you travel to meet with clients or just like working from new and different places, a mobile office can help you get out and see the world while still growing your business. However, there are some essentials you’ll need to have with you if you want to take your business mobile and have a fully functioning office on the go.
A quintessential mobile tool, smartphones allow you to stay in contact with your team or clients and even work on small projects from basically anywhere. You’re likely already familiar with the variety of smartphones available. Just look a bit deeper into the features and apps available for each model and consider which ones will be most essential for running your business on the go.
For more in-depth projects, laptops offer mobile workers the ability to move from place to place while still having almost all of the same functionality of a regular desktop computer. When choosing a laptop, it’s important to consider the type of work you’ll be doing while you travel. But things like battery life and charging time are also important factors.
Unfortunately, working on the go means that you’ll likely encounter some situations where WiFi is hard to come by. In those situations, a WiFi hotspot like the Verizon Jetpack is essential. Some mobile phone providers even offer mobile tethering plans, which will allow you to use your phone as a mobile hotspot.
A sort of middle ground between phones and laptops, tablets provide a bit more functionality than smartphones and a bit more portability than laptops. Many come with apps or features — like note-taking and messaging — that you could find useful for your business.
The lack of a physical keyboard is what keeps some professionals from using tablets in place of their laptops, even when a lighter device would come in handy. Luckily, small keyboards that connect via Bluetooth or similar technology are readily available and often priced under $100.
If you’re going to be working away from electrical outlets for any length of time, you’ll need to be sure that all of your devices are charged up. Ensure that you have all of the proper chargers and battery packs before embarking on any journey. And extras can’t hurt either, in case anything gets lost or damaged.
Portable Battery Pack
However, if you find yourself away from outlets when one or more of your devices loses power, there are portable battery packs that can help. Devices like the Astro E7 allow you to charge a variety of devices even when you don’t have access to an outlet.
If you ever take your operation overseas, outlet converters are a must for keeping your devices powered up. There are even some universal plug adapters so you don’t have to carry around multiple converters when traveling to various countries with different types of outlets.
Flash drives are small and portable, but functional enough to give you an easy way of transferring documents to different devices, or even just saving backups in case of theft or damage.
If you’re going to listen to music, watch videos or view presentations with sound while you work in public places, you’ll need a good set of headphones so as not to disturb others around you.
Traveling can be rough on all of your electronic devices. To ensure that they’re protected during bumpy rides, flights, or your rush through the airport, make sure you have protective cases and/or bags for each one. You can even use an organizational system like the Grid-It to hold some of your smaller devices in place.
You’ll also need at least one good piece of luggage to house all of your devices and other valuables. Choose one that’s easy to carry around airports or between destinations. But it should also be durable enough to protect all of your business equipment.
Depending on your travel preferences, you’ll either need a good personal vehicle or access to other transportation. If you prefer flying to and from your various destinations, sign up for a good travel rewards card to help save you money. And then consider signing up for an account with Uber or Lyft to help you get around once you reach your general destination.
Security for Your Vehicle
If you do travel with your personal vehicle, you’ll need to make sure that it and all of your belongings inside are secure. Services like Verizon Hum can help protect you from damage or theft when it comes to your vehicle.
Smartwatches like the Apple Watch and Samsung Gear are gaining popularity for their mobile functionality. When running a mobile business, you can use your smartwatch to receive important notifications, host video chats or even make mobile payments.
Cloud storage is essential for most businesses, regardless of their mobility. But especially for those who are likely to switch between devices and networks on a regular basis, a reliable cloud storage solution is a must. Consider even signing up for a service that automatically saves your work on the cloud, such as Mozy or Carbonite.
World Compatible Phone
Your regular smartphone should be sufficient for keeping in touch when you’re stateside. But if you regularly travel out of the country, you’ll need a phone that functions in that environment. You can either purchase an international phone or a SIM card designed to work with your regular phone.
If you’ve ever gotten stuck with an overweight bag fee while flying, you know the importance of keeping your luggage under the approved weight limit. Portable luggage scales give you the ability to weigh your luggage before each flight so that you can rearrange or dispose of any unnecessary items that could lead to major fees.
Giving presentations in an environment that isn’t your business’s conference room can lead anyone to feel a little out of their element. But a portable, rechargeable projector can at least ensure that you have the ability to display the media you prepared for any presentation in any location.
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I would add couple of things:
Electronic/online bank account accessible 24/7 or at least a PayPal or similar account.
Electronic or online invoicing. If we talk business it should bring revenue, and should be able invoice it anytime wherever you are.
Great suggestions, Attila! I think remembering the financial side of the business is critically important. Thanks for contributing to the conversation.
Those are great points! Thanks so much.
I would add to the list a lavalier microphone so you could do on the spot podcast interviews, mental memory note taking, and recording talks and speeches.
How much is a portable projector nowadays?
The one linked on Amazon is just over $200, but there are a bunch listed for more.