Becoming a location independent entrepreneur can be a wonderfully freeing experience,
as you suddenly realize that you can run your business from anywhere in the world with an internet connection.
However there are also some risks that one needs to take into account;
not least how you’ll actually connect to the internet in order to maintain and grow your business – even when you’re travelling.
My own experience of online business owners is that they typically travel down one of two routes;
either they take a laptop with them or they use internet cafes wherever they happen to be.
When you consider that even your own laptop can get lost, stolen or broken when away, and
that a replacement may not be feasable, it’s clear that if you’re planning to run an online business while away from home you need to be confident that you can access all your essential files from any internet-connected computer.
In other words we’re talking about “cloud services” – those which you access over the internet from any computer using just your username and password.
And by utilizing these services you know that no matter what happens you won’t lose touch with your business.
Here then, based on my own experience of travelling extensively over the last few years, are the services I strongly recommend you set up well before leaving
so you can get familiar with them and ensure they do exactly what you need.
If you’re anything like me then you have masses of different online accounts for social media sites, blogs, membership sites, forums and
so on and keeping ontop of all these passwords can be a real struggle.
Fortunately tools like LastPass or Roboform (my own persona choice) do a fantastic job of storing all your passwords – and allowing you to access them from anywhere.
With Roboform I simply need to remember one “master password” and using that I can gain access to all my various website login details from any compuer in the world.
You’d be surprised how often this has saved my bacon allowing me to pay web hosting bills, log into social media accounts and so on with passwords I’d never have guessed myself.
Fortunately webmail is more popular than ever before so there’s a decent chance that you already have an account of one form or another.
Personally I’ve dropped the old favorites like Hotmail in favor of Gmail as it not only offers a very user-friendly experience but also has various add-ons that I use every day.
For example Rapportive is a free add-on that lets me see information about the people who email me (useful for outreach) and
Canned Responses lets me easily insert pre-written text into emails regarding advertising opportunities, download links and so on.
Having some general cloud storage account means you can easily upload and store essential documents and then access them any time you need.
Think of it as a hard drive that you can access from anywhere.
There are a huge range of options available though carefully examine the pricing models to try and find the best deal.
Personally I use two different providers, chosen primarily because they not only allow me to sync a number of devices at the same time (so, for example,
I can access my documents through my cell phone) but they also offer unlimited amounts of cloud storage space
so that I can feel confident I’ll never reach my storage limits while travelling.
If you’re using an unlimited online storage facility then this may not be an essential service but personally I like to use Flickr to not only store my photos but
also keep them organized and allow my family and friends to see them.
This is in contrast to a cloud storage account where the photos would simply be uploaded “as-is” and wouldn’t be available to others without specific permissions being given.
The final essential cloud computing service worthy of consideration is a VPN – which not only allows you to stay safe and
secure when using open wifi hotspots but can also allow you to access websites not available in certain countries.
For example in China it is near impossible to access old favorites like Facebook from most internet cafes thanks to the Chinese firewalls in place.
Using a VPN, so that you are routed straight to the US, allows you to access these kinds of sites no matter where you happen to find yourself.
Richard is an online business owner focusing on helping others achieve a location-independent lifestyle.
He blogs regularly at TechToucan.com