So, you’re ready to quit your day job for good and to start pursuing your online business full time. Congratulations. Welcome to the club. Someone will show you the secret handshake a little later on and your membership card is in the mail. Are you ready to get started?
When setting up your home office, most of the basic requirements are pretty obvious and straightforward. You’ll want to have a halfway decent computer and a reliable Internet connection. You might invest in some software or you’ll probably want some web hosting. A nice coffee maker probably isn’t a bad idea either.
The thing that most people don’t get about the dot com lifestyle and working from home, however, is that you’re not necessarily working from home all the time. You’re flexing that time and location freedom with the best of them, so outfitting your home office means figuring out what needs to be done when you’re not actually there.
Mailbox Rental Service
This will depend partly on the kind of online business that you run and the specifics surrounding where you live. Part of what I do for a living is review a variety of gadgets and electronics. This means that the good people at Fedex and UPS visit me on a fairly frequent basis. The thing is that I’m not always home to receive those packages, resulting in unnecessary headache and inconvenient rescheduling.
A very simple and affordable solution to this is a mailbox rental service. This is different from a regular P.O. box, because certain couriers and delivery people will not deliver to a P.O. box. When you subscribe to certain mailbox rental services, you are given a real physical address, because it is a real physical office. This means there’s probably a real live receptionist there too, in case your parcel requires a signature.
By subscribing to such a service, you no longer have to wait all day for the delivery guy to come. You’re free to enjoy that time and location freedom, which is especially handy if you’re out of town on a conference or trade show. An example of a company that offers this service is The Network Hub, which offers rates from about $25/month for the Vancouver location.
Smart Camera with Cloud Storage
Speaking of technology and when you might be away from the home office, security is very important too. Depending on where you live, you might already subscribe to an alarm monitoring service. If you want to step it up a level or take matters into your own hands, a smart IP camera could be a good way to go.
With many of these IP cameras, you can access the live video feed through a web browser or a mobile app no matter where you are in the world. However, it’s critically important that you can also review a history of this footage and that the video is not stored locally (as thieves can simply steal your camera). That’s where cloud storage comes into the picture.
Nest cameras typically cost about $100 to $200. From there, you’ll want the Nest Aware service too. The Basic plan for $10/month gets you a 10-day video history with intelligent alerts and timelapses. With the $30/month Extended plan, that expands to a 30-day video history.
If you’re looking for a more affordable solution with similar functionality, SpotCam is worth considering. You can get 1-day recording for free. From there, you can upgrade to 3-day, 7-day or 30-day recording for $3.95, $5.95 or $19.95 a month, respectively. The camera is competitively priced against Nest Dropcam.
Global SIM Card
For the most part, particulars notwithstanding, you can make money online without ever leaving the comfort of your home. Heck, if you keep the laptop handy, you never even need to get out of bed. But that doesn’t mean this is the best or smartest approach. Even if you can go online for most things, you should still attend live events when you can. The networking is invaluable. Instant messengers are no replacement for face-to-face interaction.
You naturally still want to stay connected when you’re on the road, but roaming charges on most cellphone plans can prove prohibitively expensive. You could pick up a local SIM card at every new destination if you don’t travel very often. A more convenient solution, though, is to pick up a global SIM that can be used in international locations all around the world.
The global SIM cards from AlwaysOnline Wireless and KnowRoaming cost almost nothing and they grant you immediate access to the fastest LTE networks with any unlocked smartphone or tablet. Rates will depend on your destination and they can be as much as 85% off your regular carrier’s international roaming rates.
Having the freedom to work from home also means having the freedom to work from anywhere. Enjoy that flexibility. Just make sure you have the logistical pieces in place before you go.