Running your business from 1,000’s of kms away.
Last month, unbeknown to most of our clients and partners, I performed my business role from nearly 2,000 kms away in Noosa for over a week (because, you know, Melbourne winters!).
Added to this, I did this on a Chromebook $350 AUD laptop, with no formal internet connection. Why….? An equal parts combination of ‘because I can’ and ‘photos like the one above’
Now, more seriously, life isn’t (and wasn’t) all plain sailing and we certainly learnt some things as a company over the week – however, this was also part of the plan. A real-world stress test of our business processes if you will.
Firstly, there are three key things that you *must* have in my eyes to be able to consider this. In no particular order:
- MINDSET – both personally and within your entire business. I genuinely could not care whether our team is working from Melbourne, Mornington, Madrid or the Moon – as long as results come in!
- PROCESS – see the second point in the section below for where we tripped over this. Processes need to be streamlined, defined and movable between all your staff
- SOFTWARE – fairly obvious given the business we at Waypoint are in, but this is fundamental. For all the will in the world, if the key business software you use can’t support your vision and goals then drop it – yesterday
There were also a few important points that I realised over this trip and will look to improve internally between now and the end of the year, namely:
- You cannot have any key process or software in your business dependant on any single platform to support it. This causes such huge issues both with enforcing particular device policy (i.e you must have a Windows PC to work with Bob The Builder because our software only runs on it) but also with remote access, security and more
- You must have a de-centralised and team approach to every day to day business process. There were a few tasks which occurred during the week which only I could perform, for no other reason than I have never shown anyone, or written it down. Bad! (excuse the Trump-ism)
- The balance between flexible working and arcane business norms still needs work. Example – Do I put my out of office on? Do I tell clients? I don’t work in an office anyway? Does it, therefore, make any difference where I am when I answer that call? What time is happy hour?
Given all of the above, everything went really well, and I look forward to re-grouping internally over the next few weeks and reviewing further. I am particularly proud of the fact that whilst running an eight person business from a $350 laptop I/we as a company managed to:
- Complete four client projects, including inventory, POS and website integration for a jewellery company, plus a food manufacturing software setup
- Complete all our standard internal check ins and reviews
- Develop a series of four ‘101’ Webinars for our key software (more to come on this!)
- Sit on a beach balcony, and do a scope demonstration with someone in Melbourne, to someone in the USA!
- Write this blog post sat at 20,000 ft above New South Wales whilst flying home
In addition, I look forward to further staff breaks coming up for all of our team, plus conferences which will give us more opportunity to improve this as we travel to Australia, UK, USA and more before the year is out.
Footnote – NONE of this is possible without everyone involved in the company, both staff, vendors, suppliers, partners and our friends and family. We :heart: you all.