Whether you sell products or services, there’s no reason you can’t join the digital nomads and take your business on the road, and every reason why you should.
Have you ever envied the digital nomads who run their business empire from a beach in Phuket? If your business seems too landlocked to step outside its premises, think again. What about a pop-up café? Mobile beauty salon? Market stall at a festival?
Whether you sell products or services, there’s no reason you can’t take your business on the road, and every reason why you should. Some of the world’s top brands actually started out of the back of a van. Nike originally started as the US distributor for a Japanese shoe company, with founder Mr Phil Knight selling shoes out of his vehicle at athletic meets. Stussy began life as clothing sold out of a vehicle driven around Laguna Beach.
It grows your business
Getting on the road helps your reach new customers in new areas. Research shows that the more you network, the more business you’ll generate from networking: five to nine hours, or the equivalent of one working day per week, will see 50% of your business generated by that activity.
It’s convenient for your customers
Getting to specific premises can be the biggest obstacle for some customers. They may not have time to travel to you: one Melbourne luxury footwear company solved this problem by making his footwear and luxury goods business portable, launching a Luxury Van that visits businesses and homes around Victoria.
It promotes your company
High-traffic events such as markets and festivals can be a wonderful location to generate business and get publicity. Having your logo and website on prominent display before crowds of people is powerful (and effectively free) outdoor advertising. You can easily target specific groups of people: millennials at a music festival or families at a fun day.
Technology also makes it easy to run your business on the road. You don’t have to drive home and go over your accounts, you can manage them while you work. These four valuable business tools designed for small business owners who want to have a big-business approach to growth this new financial year:
1. Intuit Quickbooks Online: QuickBooks Online is powerful, cloud-based accounting software that enables small business owners to manage their finances on-the-go, anywhere and anytime. You can easily access it from any device to, for example, track sales and expenses, send invoices, and scan and upload receipts. Most importantly, automating data entry means small businesses save time and have business insights in real time.
2. Deputy: Deputy is a workplace management solution to better manage your team. The mobile app means that even if business owners are out of the workplace, they can see who’s at work, answer messages while on the go and send in replacement staff if someone calls in sick.
3. Square: Square Reader is $19 and plugs into the headphone jack of your Apple or Android smartphone or tablet to allow you to instantly accept Visa, MasterCard and American Express card payments wherever you may be on the road. There are also no recurring monthly charges, hidden fees or lock-in contracts.
4. Dropbox: Dropbox for Business lets you share, sync and collaborate securely on files from any platform (iOS, Android, Windows) or device, wherever you like. Files can even be accessed offline by adding them to your favourites. So you have the freedom to work how and where you want to work, with your important files always accessible.
Nicolette Maury, Vice President and Country Manager, Intuit Australia