If you run a business whilst you travel, should you tell prospects that you’re a vagabond?

One of the questions people ask when they find out that I run my business whilst travelling the world permanently is this:

“Doesn’t it put people off that you don’t meet clients face-to-face and that you travel around all the time?”

In my experience so far, no it doesn’t; but then I’m particularly careful to set and manage expectations whilst running my business – a branding and online marketing consultancy.

If you’re thinking about running a business which services clients whilst travelling the world, then here are my tips for how to deal with the inevitable questions this brings from prospects and interested parties:

1 – Unless the client is likely to be impacted by the fact you travel (e.g. different time zones, you’ll be non-contactable because you’re travelling etc.), you don’t necessarily have to tell them that you do. If it doesn’t make a difference to the service you provide then don’t give them a reason to think it might by pointing it out.

2 – On the other hand, if the fact that you travel sets you apart and is part of your USP (unique selling point) then you should definitely mention it. I often point out to prospects who are considering working with us to help market a business online, that we know what we’re doing because we have to do it ourselves given that we travel permanently. It’s usually a big plus!

3 – Don’t ‘not’ tell people; by this I mean don’t keep it a secret if it’s a natural thing to mention, otherwise people will rightly feel deceived. It can also become a talking point – I typically have my location and the time difference (e.g. Currently in Thailand GMT + 7) in my email signature which often provokes comment and conversation.

My main advice is this…if you feel the fact that you travel impacts your business and the people you serve in anyway, then it’s your duty to tell them; if it doesn’t then feel free not to but you may find it opens more doors and cements a better relationship if you do.

Posted by | Comments (2)  | April 24, 2008
Category: Notes from the collective travel mind

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