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The greatest thing about the digital revolution – and it is a revolution – is that so many rules of business just went up in smoke. Not so long ago, if you wanted to get a business going, you had a list of things a mile long. You had to get your premises, secure start-up funding, get a car. If you wanted to do much with that business, you either needed to be a scarily efficient polymath or hire more people.
Now, pretty much all you need is an idea, a laptop and enough wit to make sure you always have somewhere to sleep. To recharge your batteries, and those of your laptop and phone. It works for me, but is it for everyone? Well, that’s the question. You need to find your way of doing business, because what you’re doing has to suit you. Copying someone else’s plan just means doing what they did after they did it.
First things first. Not only is there no longer one way for everyone to do business. There is also no need to pick one way and stick to it. Particularly with a lot of apartments having short-term leases, you can settle somewhere for a few months before taking off again.
You can set up a home office for not much money. All you need is a desk and an affordable chair from officechairsonly.com or similar. If you find this works best for you, you can always extend the lease and make local business connections.
Now, it’s not for me because I like to move from place to place, but some people find that the routine of having a set hub gets the best from them. Clients can come and see you there without it feeling invasive. It’s easier to hire staff if you need them. And it stops you having to carry too much with you or fill your home with reminders of work.
But I don’t think you need an office to be a credible business. If you’ve got an email address and a working phone number, people can contact you. People go away on business all the time. As long as you can speak to customers – use Skype if it helps build trust – you can do business.
You can make a living in a normal desk job, and not have many responsibilities. Once the clock ticks around and your shift is over, you’re free. And if you don’t want complications, maybe that works for you. However, my one question is “How long can you be happy doing that?”
Being able to call any new location “my office” means you don’t get stale in your settings. You’re not without responsibilities – you need to know how long you can stay and what type of visa you need, for a start. But it is elating, allows you to build experience of new places and make connections. All of which make it a great thing to have on your resume.
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