06 Mar Running a Dual Location Business
A Dual Location Business: The Truth About How to Run One
I’ve always been fascinated about what goes on when running a dual location business. This is mainly because it is one of my own dreams to work between the UK and Italy! When her children left home, Debbie Suenson-Taylor decided it was time to realise her dream of living and working in Spain and the UK. Together with her husband, she moved to Sotogrande in southern Spain. There, she set up her travel agency Travel Producer. Below, she describes what she has learned about running a dual location business.
Get the Tech to Support Your Business
It’s taken me a while, but I now have everything, from my email to your accounting software in the cloud. This means that you really can work from anywhere. If I’m not in Spain, or visiting family in the UK, I’m out on the road. I could be anywhere in the world, This means able to access emails, the website etc., at all times is vital. I’ve also invested in a VOIP phone. I’ve spoken to clients in roadside cafes in Istanbul and Tanzania who are surprised to find I’m not sat at a desk in an office somewhere! I think it gives them confidence that when it comes to travelling, I know what I’m talking about.
I’ve also had to get used to Apps and services Like Face Time and Skype. This is sometimes for business connections but can just also used for staying in touch with family and friends. Although being on the other side of a Skype call when your child is streaming with tears is not an easy experience.
Network Like Mad
I really make a point of keeping up with my old networks, and continuing to build new connections. i do this even if I am not physically in the country. LinkedIn is my passport to old and new contacts and I really make the most of this this tool.
My virtual assistant, PR lady and website designer are all based in the UK, so I do keep some kind of presence there. My VA, in particular, can deal with suppliers when I am just not physically able to be there. Having someone in the UK also helps me feel less isolated, somehow.
Make an Effort Locally
I’ve made a really big effort to integrate into the local community here. I socialise with the ex-pat community, who are a huge support. They are now turning into my customers. I am also learning Spanish. It’s obvious that is going to be a vital part of my dual location lifestyle. That said, I am still going to take on a Spanish speaking PA. This will ramp up the Spanish side and create new connections here.
Finally, I’ve looked into doing some volunteer work locally as this not only fulfills one of my own personal values, but I’m sure it will help me connect with the community on an even deeper level.
Make the Most of It
I try to keep a loose routine to my day. After all I’ve made the effort to move here and live the lifestyle so I want to make the most of it. I build in the flexibility to take a walk on the beach in the middle of the day if I feel it. But I still make sure that everything gets done. I’ve stopped feeling guilty about this, and realise this is the choice that I’ve made: to build my business around a better work life balance.
Big plans like running a dual location business are some of things we work on in our business mastermind groups. Do look here for more details.