There are numerous businesses that are operated from wherever the owner might be. Many service industries, such as plumbers and electricians, operate out of their automobiles because they’re always on the go. In an election year, some political campaign staff are never in the same place for very long. And in many sales positions, travel is required, negating the need for an office in a commercial building.
Operating a mobile office is not without its challenges. It can especially be difficult to stay organized if you’re a paper person. Here are some tips to help your mobile office run smoothly and effectively.
1. Ditch the Paperwork
Paperwork is so 20th century, and the 21st century is just months out. Paperwork piles up and ends up all over your automobile. It’s time to ditch the paperwork and go completely digital. Going digital is actually much easier once you’ve made the adjustment.
Keep a portable scanner with you when you need copies. At the end of each day, get in the habit scanning receipts for all your business expenses, such as gas and hotel, so you can keep them neatly organized in your digital files.
For invoices, let your clients know you send them by email. The upside for them is the invoice is always accessible and they’ll never have to hunt it down come tax season. The environment will thank you, too, as you produce less waste.
2. Get a Good Laptop Computer
Don’t pick up a chrome book or an outdated and sluggish computer. Your laptop essentially is your office and it’s worth some investment. Go for a newer computer with plenty of memory and a large hard drive to organize all your digital documents. You could also opt for an external drive if going with a smaller hard drive offers you substantial savings.
If you’ve never been computer savvy before, it’s time to get up to speed. Take a few online courses to help you better understand products like Microsoft Excel and accounting software like Quickbooks. As you travel, everything you need will be right there at your fingertips and you won’t have to play catchup when you get home.
3. Set Up an Account With a National Bank
If you’re using a local bank but you travel extensively, switching to a national bank could save you money in ATM fees. Also, be sure the bank offers mobile checking so you can deposit checks as soon as you receive them. Once the deposit is accepted, destroy the check and you never have to worry about it again.
4. All-in-One App
Bundle all your office needs with one app. PointVoIP offers services such as your fax machine, messaging and voicemail in one easy to use service. It even incorporates video conferencing and whiteboard. This makes their service perfect for the on-the-go professional who needs to present themselves as polished and prepared.
5. Mobile Internet Access
It’s completely possible that you can find plenty of hotspots in your travels and never need to utilize mobile internet access. But just in case, it’s good to integrate unlimited data and mobile hotspot into your cellular plan because you never know when the exception might be. Since you’ve gone to all this work to create a fully functional mobile office, it would be a bad deal if a lack of internet access caused you to fall behind on your work.
Cellular plans have become increasingly affordable over the years, and with everything you need to acquire for your mobile office, it’s still much more affordable than a brick and mortar office.
Professional people who are always on the go really don’t need to have a physical office space if they can learn to adapt to a portable office. Portable offices are becoming more common, especially during the pandemic as small business owners look for avenues to cut expenses. Once you get in the routine, there’s no reason not to love it.