How I Plan For Time On The Road As A Small Business Owner
Living far away from both my family and my husband’s family means that we are on the road quite a bit. From traveling back for holidays and visits, or just traveling to other places for fun, there are times where it seems like we’re packing our bags every couple weeks (and where we just end up leaving our suitcases on the bedroom floor for obscene amounts of time 😬).
If we’re heading on a vacation, that out-of-office auto reply is on, but for certain trips back to visit our families, Ian and I will both try and work a bit while we’re there. Hey, if working while visiting family means we can extend our trip a couple days and get in another weekend with them, we’ll take it!
But as a calligrapher there is definitely some prep that needs to go in on my end to make those trips as productive as possible. I could take calligraphy supplies with me, but there would be a lot of moving parts involved from making sure I take the right supplies and don’t forget anything to packing it all so it doesn’t get damaged and to then finding the right work space to use those supplies. I find it easier to just work on computer work while I am there (and so far my schedule has allowed this!). But how exactly do I plan for those times away? That’s exactly what I’m going to be diving into with my 4 tips for planning for time on the road. Let’s jump right in!
To be more productive while I am away I need to put the planning time in before we even leave. For me this looks like planning what I want to get done while I am away, which is usually computer work. Even though calligraphy is done on paper and ink, there’s a lot of computer work with the calligraphy itself (to digitizing and designing invitations) and in small business stuff. I know that while I am gone I will be focusing on computer work so leading up to being away from home I need to focus more heavily on paper and ink calligraphy work.
This is especially true if that calligraphy work will be scanned,digitized and then incorporated into a digital design that I will be working on while away. Looking ahead at my schedule and rearranging my work to make sure that I can still be productive and complete projects is essential, and that looks a lot like calligraphy before the trip so then I can focus on computer work while on the trip.
Pack/Take What You Need
This might seem like a no brainer, but hey, I can be a little too forgetful at times! And for instances where client work is involved, I do not want to be forgetting something that is essential to completing that project! As you’ve planned ahead for your time away from the office, also make note of all the things you are going to need to take with you, whether that’s equipment, supplies, notes, etc.
Plan and do what you can but also have grace on yourself. Obviously, you need to do what you NEED to do, do it well, and keep clients happy - that’s your job! But also be understanding when things might not go exactly according to plan, such as not finding reliable internet (I’m a little too familiar with this one than I’d like to be!), or a schedule that is a little different than you were expecting. Know that as much as you can plan, there will also be those circumstance where you just can’t control everything, especially in a new or different place than you’re used to. And that’s okay!
Take Advantage of Where You Are
This tip is more like a continuation of number 3 and having grace on yourself. When we travel back to our families, we do so to spend time with them. And sometimes that means not getting as much work done as planned because there are other things that come up, and you want to take advantage of where you are and who you’re with! Don’t get so in the work zone (again, unless you have jobs/projects you need to work on - don’t neglect your clients!), that you miss out on family/friends/or a visiting a new place!
I know these tips weren’t necessarily groundbreaking but I hope having a peek into my process and thoughts when approaching time on the road has been helpful! Bon Voyage!
Hey there, and welcome to the True North Paper Co. Blog, where I'll dive into everything from wedding calligraphy and logo/branding to business insight! Grab your mug of tea or coffee and enjoy a peek behind-the-scenes!