One of the great benefits of working for yourself is the opportunity to provide products and services for anybody and from anywhere -- but if you find yourself inhabiting the same chair in your home office day after year (and year after year), you may feel like you've simply traded one cubicle for another. Here are some tips for embracing your independence by taking your business on the road in an RV.
Selecting the Right Vehicle
The first decision you need to make is how many people your RV must comfortably accommodate, and how much time you expect to spend in it each day. If you really want to create a home away from home for an entire family, you may have to consider a relatively pricey Class A recreational vehicle. These mobile homes carry all the amenities, from plumbing and electricity to full-scale home entertainment setups. RV dealers at sites like http://www.orangewoodrv.com/ can point you toward a used RV for sale.
If you're traveling on your own and you plan to do most of your daytime work from local coffee shops via your laptop, you might need nothing more than a Class B van camper. This option may feel less "home-like" than a Class A, but it's also more maneuverable and fuel-efficient. Trucks and vans can also carry little trailers designed for short-term or long-term camping.
The type of vehicle you select may also have an impact on where you can stay overnight and on non-driving days. For instance, some of the fancier RV parks restrict their clientele to deluxe Class A motor homes, while others will only accept relatively new models. If you plan to explore back roads and off-road camping options, then you'll need a smaller vehicle with a relatively high ground clearance, preferably one with all-wheel drive.
If your business depends on Web and phone connectivity, you'll need to equip yourself accordingly before you hit the road. Pay attention to each cellular provider's coverage map -- does it include the zones you plan to explore? If it doesn't, then be prepared for serious roaming charges or even total signal blackouts. If you decide to venture into these area regardless of cellular coverage, you may need to invest in a satellite Internet setup for your vehicle.
For most freelancers, wi-fi is sufficient to get daily work done, but you'll want to think about how to access that wireless signal. Many RV parks advertise wi-fi availability, but the signal is often weak and slow due to multiple campers trying to use it at once. If you want to use RV park wi-fi, your best bet is to access it during daytime hours. That's because campers returning from their daytime adventures tend to use bandwidth-hogging applications (such as streaming video) in the evenings.
Will you be trekking through or near cities and large towns? If so, you can usually find free wi-fi at local restaurants, cafes, libraries and other facilities. But you should maintain a local hotspot through your cellular provider. This not only ensures your productivity when there's no free wi-fi to be found, but it also allows you to create secure private connections for sensitive business transactions.
Storing Business Data
Working on the road can present serious storage-space challenges, especially where the storage of important information is concerned. If your home office is dominated by stacks of papers, you need to rethink your relationship with hardcopy documents so your vehicle won't be stuffed to the ceiling with them. Some smart strategies include:
- Going paperless with as many of your regular contacts as possible
- Scanning all your current hardcopies into digital form
- Doing all your billing and accounts receivable electronically, instead of taking checks
Once you choose the right vehicle for your needs, keep yourself connected with the right tools, and learn how to store documents efficiently, you may find RV life completely compatible with your freelance business. Have fun working on the road!Share