Getting out of town can do wonders for your business. There are several key types of trips I use to increase revenue. Though they may seem like just a lot of vacations, we actually seriously plan them and force ourselves to take them on a regular basis because of how much they positively affect our bottom line.
Seriously, if we didn’t make it a priority, we would probably never leave town because we love working on our business so much!
1. The Quick Trip
This is the most obvious one, a 4-7 day change of scenery that doesn’t necessarily require us to check out of our email. When you work for yourself this is relatively easy to do. A couple of laptops and some wifi and you can seamlessly continue to work without anyone knowing you’re gone.
Why it’s good: Moving locations stimulates the creative juices. Even if you’re still working during the work day, meals and weekends are an opportunity to dine in new places, and, if it’s winter, get some vitamin D sunshine. It’s easier to relax in a “vacation” environment, and the change of pace is a welcome respite, even if you love what you do.
Bonus tip: We rent out our apartment on airbnb whenever we go away. Actually, we always have it available and when someone requests it we decide whether that’s a good time for a quick trip out of town. The fee from the renter usually pays for most, if not all of, our trip (note: this might only work when you live in NYC!)
2. The Long Off-the-Grid Trip
As I mentioned in an article on Pregame, the idea for our business was born while we were living for 3 months on a farm in the British Virgin Islands without a computer, electricity or clock. It’s amazing the kind of ideas you can come up with when you only have books, conversation and the scenery for entertainment. That’s why we have tried to make a point of going away for at least a few weeks every year, and to stay “off the grid” for as much of it as possible.
Bonus Tip: Disconnecting is crucial if you want to see the benefits. Sometimes it’s hard to turn the phone off, so we actually choose places where it’s not even an option. Last year we spent 3 weeks in Maui and much of that time we stayed in a eco-hut “glamping” without electricity and outside of cell phone range. The first week is usually the hardest, but after that the ideas start flowing. This is where we brainstormed our idea to build the Brandup Bootcamp, which is now allowing us even more freedom in our business.
3. The Instagrammable Work Retreat
The best way to increase your tax write off! When Ciara Pressler (of Pressler Collaborative) sent me an email saying she was going to be #WorkingFromMexico for a few weeks and was open to coworking houseguests, I went straight to Kayak and booked my flights.
Some might say it’s a little gratuitous to fly all the way to Mexico for four days, but from an investment standpoint it was a no-brainer. Tanning on the beach next to a dynamite marketing brain while sunning myself in the middle of winter both stimulated new ideas and gave me that business owner glow that only comes from working for yourself, and being able to pick up and go to Mexico on a whim.
(Note from Ciara: I invited Pia so I could get the benefits of her business brain while elevating my brand. I paid far less for the trip than I would to hire Pia for four days, so I’d call that an excellent investment, wouldn’t you? – Ciara)
Bonus Tip: Go with a business buddy for a mutually beneficial experience.