Tools and Tips to Manage Your Business From Afar

Even the most devoted business owner will be away from the office from time to time. From a family vacation to business trips to just wanting to work from the local coffee shop once in awhile, leaving the workplace is just a fact of business life.

In order to successfully stay in touch with your company and keep it running smoothly while you are away, consider the following tools and tips:

Image courtesy of Social Monsters.

Image courtesy of Social Monsters.

Be Reachable

Business owners should never truly be out-of-touch with their office and employees, even if they are away on a well-deserved vacation. As Resource Management & Acquisitions notes, before you leave town, let your employees know how they can best reach you and what your preference is for communication. For example, if you would really rather avoid phone calls for a few days, urge your employees to text or email you with any questions or concerns. In addition, establish and schedule a couple times that you will contact the office to address any questions or issues—that way, employees will hopefully wait until then to speak with you. As a side note, urge your staff to use their best judgment. Select one or two top employees and let them know that you trust them to handle certain issues on their own, as well as which situations you want to learn about while you are gone.

Use the Power of Apps and Software Programs

Managing a business or project remotely can be done successfully with the help of a few key apps and software programs, explains Inc. Here are just a few examples of app and software programs:

  • Asana helps employers create, assign and comment on tasks all in one place, which decreases the amount of emails and status updates needed.
  • BlackBerry provides Mobile Device Management (MDM), which gives a business owner control over mobile devices while he or she is away. Some features include the ability to lock or wipe the mobile devices.
  • ONTRAPORT automates everything from payments to Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and more.
  • ProofHQ provides a real-time comment stream and allows for in-player markup, as well as the ability to upload the various versions of the project and provide feedback on the content.

Ask Your Employees to Do More

In some cases, business owners can ask their employees to step things up a notch while they are out of the office and take over certain duties. As Monster notes, take a hard look at the variety of tasks and jobs that you do every day, and delegate as many of them as you can. Granted, there will probably be some tasks that you will want to handle yourself, but in many cases, you can definitely ask for your staff to do a bit more to keep the ship afloat while you are gone. As a bonus, staff members who are asked to take on some important jobs while you are gone tend to feel trusted, empowered and valued as employees.