Summer is here, and for many of us that means going on vacation! While the prospect of taking a break from the daily grind of running your small business or organization sounds appealing, you already know that you can’t simply put your business on hold while you are away. For many small business owners, taking time away from the office can bring a whole new set of concerns and uncertainties, including ensuring that your business is properly managed and operated during the period that you are away. Most small business owners have managers or partners that can be trusted with the daily operation of a business, but if you personally handle your digital branding and marketing, what happens to the digital presence of your business, including your blog, digital marketing and social media presence, when you go on vacation? With a bit of preparation and planning, there’s no reason why your digital presence has to go on vacation as well!
You May Already Be Prepared To Handle Digital Life On The Road
For many professions in this modern digital age, a significant amount of time is already spent either on the road or away from the office. In fact, it is entirely feasible for many professionals not to have a physical office, and already do their work from home, coffee shops, restaurants or other locations that offer Wi-Fi access. With a smartphone acting as an Internet hotspot or a USB modem, many can access the Internet from any place with cellular coverage. If you are one of these mobile professionals, you are likely already familiar with many of the tips and ideas we are going to present in this blog post, but there may be a number of details about travelling far away from home that may still prove to be useful.
Before You Hit The Road, Prepare!
Before you leave your home or office, there are a number of steps you should take in preparation of your trip. It is likely that you will be traveling with at least a laptop and a smartphone, and preparing your laptop may mean removing data. It is an unfortunate fact that many people are robbed while on vacation, and you must prepare for the possibility that your laptop may be stolen from your person, a vehicle or from a hotel room. If you have sensitive data on your laptop that is unencrypted, especially customer data, back it up and delete it from your laptop unless it is absolutely necessary to have with you. This also applies to your smartphone if you have data stored locally on the device.
Do You Know All Of Your Passwords?
The next step to properly preparing for your trip is to ensure that you have access to the passwords and passcodes necessary to access your online accounts. You may initially think this step is unnecessary if you have your web browser or smartphone apps set to automatically log into your accounts, but many online services have security policies in place that will restrict access to an account if you are attempting to login from a new geographical location. For instance, if you live in Colorado but are vacationing in Florida, Facebook will very likely require you to login if you attempt to access your account in Florida. The best and most secure way to travel with your passwords is to utilize an encrypted password manager – KeePass is an excellent option.
Will You Have Internet Access?
Finally, it may be necessary to check ahead and determine whether or not you will have access to the Internet while you are travelling, which will mainly depend on whether or not you are vacationing in an urban, suburban or rural location. In a city, it is unlikely that you will have trouble accessing the Internet – cellular coverage will likely be strong, hotels will have dependable Internet networks and there will be many businesses such as coffee shops and restaurants that will provide access to Wi-Fi and be accessible via public transportation. In a suburban environment, it is also unlikely that you will have difficulty going online – most residences have dependable Internet connections, and cellular coverage is often good. However, there are suburban areas where one cellular network may be stronger than another, and businesses with Wi-Fi might be fewer and farther between, especially if you don’t have access to a car. Rural locales are the least likely to have dependable Internet – both residences and hotels may have weak or undependable Internet connections, and cellular networks may not offer coverage at all. It is advisable to call ahead and ask a friend or family member in the area about Internet access, as cellular coverage maps of rural areas may be unreliable.