Consider the question in the title very carefully and what it really means.
As many of you know, my family and I, along with my business have moved. We moved from the Pacific Northwest to the East coast. To say it is a total change of environments is a complete understatement. To say that moving a virtual business is an easy task to accomplish is also a complete understatement.
Challenges abound with changes that occur in life, especially a move. You are not only responsible for your family getting from point A to point B or C or D or however, your trip maps out, but you are responsible for all belongings being packed or shipped and finding a new place to call home. That’s just the beginning. Once you do find that new home, you then need to get the basics set up, like utilities, schools for your children and then the dreaded…emptying of boxes. YUCK!!! I don’t know anyone who likes this part of a move. Oh and did I mention, that a month later, I am STILL trying to get boxes emptied? LOL
Now, add on the responsibility of moving your business. It’s not that it’s a HUGE task, but there are parts of it that need to be taken into consideration. Even though you are a “Virtual Queen or King” of whatever your field of choice, you do need to make preparations. Like for instance, you may have your laptop ready to go, but do you really? Are you really fully stocked with supplies, such as stamps, envelopes, mailing, etc? These are all things that may be forgotten when it comes time to pile in the car and head out. Seems silly, doesn’t it? But, these little things need to be accounted for. If you are truly going to be mobile, then you have to prepare for this. I’m sure you are all Wi-Fi enabled right? But, are you sure that where you will be stopping has Wi-Fi connections? What happens if they don’t? What about your clients? Have you prepared then in advance for this big transition? Will they still be able to connect with you while you traveling? What about once you reach your new destination, have you researched the necessary paperwork for a new business license? These are all things, as well as a few I may have forgotten, that need to either be taken care of beforehand or made notes of, for when you arrive at your new place.
For me, I sent postcards out a few weeks in advance letting my clients know what was coming down the ride for me. This was also a prime opportunity for me to set up my office and fax numbers so that I would be accessible at all times. I chose my1voice for my virtual office phone number. They were inexpensive and easy to learn on the fly and I went with SmartFax for my all my fax needs. I’m sure at a later date, I’ll combine the service, but for now, it works. I sent a reminder postcard right before I left and included all my new contact information as well as when I would and would not be available. I even went one step further and upgraded my phone to a Blackberry so that I would still be able to answer simple emails when I wasn’t near my laptop. I stuffed my computer bag with simple office supplies so that I would be able to start right up once I reached a stopping point for the day. Was I truly “mobile”? Aside from not having a printer…yes! I was able to continue with the majority of my workflow, more or less, without much interruption.
However, if and when I have to move again, I don’t believe I will bring my work with me. What I mean by that is this: I’ll take some time off! It wasn’t that it was too difficult to stay on top of my projects, but I missed out on a lot of family time. While the rest of my family went swimming or checked out shopping areas in the towns we were in, I was stuck back in the hotel room…working. That was my choice. I wanted to make the transition easier on my clients, but I ended up making it harder for myself. So next (hopefully there won’t be one…at least anytime soon) time, I’ll just let my clients know I’ll be on vacation. If I have the time to answer simple emails along the way, I will, but if I don’t, then I won’t!
So, for all you VA’s out there contemplating a move…go for it! Just make sure you have all your ducks in a row. If your clients are well-informed ahead of time, things will flow that much smoother for you.