Barbara and Mark, the husband and wife team behind Wicky Design, a web design agency based out of the Philadelphia area share how they run their own business while embracing the digital nomad lifestyle. Here’s their story!
In 2019, we took on the digital nomad life and transitioned our home based business to a full time online business while at the same time finding the perfect work-life balance. In the past 6 months we have been able to travel across the United States while running our business full time.
Tools We Use To Work Remotely
When we decided to move away from the traditional working environment and work remotely we knew it would take a lot of work and a complete lifestyle change. We had to ditch the old school technologies and business models that were holding us back. Below is a list of our top 3 online tools that we use:
1. Mail (VirtualPostMail)
We knew that the way we were getting mail would be one of the first things we needed to change to make our remote business work. We did tons of research and asked questions on digital nomad groups on how other people were receiving their mail. The answer is to set up a virtual mailbox. We spent a good amount of time researching the best companies that offered everything we needed and we selected VirtualPostMail. We have been using them for the past year and have loved it so much! We no longer have to worry about missing any mail while we are traveling.
2. CRM (Dubsado)
Having an online Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system is key to running a remote business. Before we had our CRM system we were still printing client contracts and storing them in a file cabinet. We knew this had to change because we didn’t want to travel with tons of paperwork everywhere we went. There are a lot of great options for CRM systems and each company can offer different features depending on your business needs. We choose Dubsado and have been very happy with their service. Our clients also love the fact that all their important documents are stored in a secure portal.
3. Accounting (Wave Financial)
Just like CRM’s, there are a lot of different options for online accounting platforms. We have been using Wave Financial for years and highly recommend them. Wave is not only a robust platform, it's free, which saves us a lot of money each month on accounting software expenses.
These are just a few online tools we use in order to run our business. It’s important to ditch any traditional services that require a physical presence. Once you move your business online you will have a much easier time scaling and growing your business.
Things To Consider Working From Anywhere
There are a lot of things to consider if you plan to run a business full time from anywhere, but we believe it’s well worth it! Here’s how we run our business full time from anywhere.
While it’s important to stick to a normal schedule it’s not always possible when running a remote business. If you are doing a lot of traveling, sticking to a normal 9-5 schedule can be tough. There are a million elements that can happen when traveling that will be out of your control, so it’s important to adjust your schedule from the typical “9-5” to something more flexible.
Our best advice is to make sure you have an online calendar that syncs to all your devices and block off days that you know you will be “out of the office”. For example, when we are traveling between cities we block off the whole day so no clients will schedule calls with us.
Tip: Make sure your calendar’s auto sync time zone changes.
Having a comfortable working environment is key to staying productive. We have worked in every type of workspace and learned what works best for us. Choosing a good workspace will take a lot of trial and error and is a personal preference. For example, some people like loud environments like cafes or coffee shops. We personally like quiet and cozy work environments. We recommend trying out all different types of work environments to see what is the best fit for your business.
You can’t run an online business without an internet connection! We personally think a steady internet connection is more important than something that is super fast. Research the places you are staying ahead of time to make sure you aren’t stuck in a place that lacks a good internet connection. Look for places that cater to people traveling for work rather than pleasure, read reviews or reach out to your host to ask questions. Doing this research ahead of time will save yourself a lot of stress.
Tip: Sign up for a VPN service if you plan to be on a public internet. We recommend NordVPN.
Is This Lifestyle Right For You?
We understand this type of lifestyle might not be for everyone. There’s a lot of adjustments that your business needs to take in order to fit into this lifestyle. But we believe that the good weighs out the bad. We like to say “working from home is dead and the future is working from anywhere”. You can follow our journey into full time work and travel on Wicky Design.