The Minimalist Guide to Starting a Portable Business

It is easy to get overwhelmed with all of the technology available today. As entrepreneurs we can begin to justify why we need the latest software gadget in order to run a successful online business.

the minimalist guide to starting a portable business

This past week I was on vacation and only took along the essentials I needed to keep my portable business running. It was a great reminder of how simple a portable business can be to run (if we let it).

Don’t get me wrong, I am guilty as the next person of wanting to try out new software and productivity apps. At the same time, I try to remind myself of what is essential. When it comes down to it, I only need two things:

Essential Tool #1: My Laptop – MacBook Air

I finally converted and purchased a MacBook Air this past year. There is no question it was well worth the investment. I am much more productive than I was prior to making the purchase.

This very well may have to do with my personality. I have a high need for variety and change. Sometimes I do my writing on my back porch by the lake, the front porch swing, or even the kitchen table. It is nice to be able to work anywhere.

I’ve even spent the morning at the local library down the street from my house just to find a quiet place to write where I’d be free of distractions.

I also enjoy the performance of my MacBook Air. It boots up quickly, moves effortlessly between applications, and just works great. Let me be clear, you don’t have to have a MacBook Air to run a portable business but you do need a reliable laptop.

Essential Tool #2: My Mobile Phone – iPhone

The other essential tool is a mobile phone. My preferred device is an iPhone, but you can use any smart phone as long as it allows you to do the following things:

  • Create a hotspot for your laptop – a hotspot allows me to work online on my laptop even while traveling down the road (assuming I’m not driving of course). For a few more dollars a month my iPhone becomes a wifi spot for my laptop, making my business truly portable (given a decent cell signal).
  • Take high quality video – the latest iPhone also deliver great video if you are in need of recording a video. The audio quality is also good as well.
  • Make and receive phone calls – I realize this is a given, but you can make your mobile phone your main business line if you wanted to be truly portable.

There are other things I like to use my iPhone for but we are talking about just the essentials here.

That’s it! I can keep my online business running with those two essentials for awhile if I needed to.

Why minimalism is important to your success

Why is this such a big deal? It is a big deal because starting lean is vital to your success. Go back even 15 years ago and starting a business had a higher financial risk. You had to buy business cards, stationary, business phone system, office supplies, rent office space, etc. That was before you even opened your doors.

I believe many start-ups fail because they are too expense heavy in the beginning. What I love about a portable business is that a laptop, mobile phone, and internet can give you access to millions of potential customers.

Today, you can create a portable business with just a few essentials.

Question: If you have a business, what are your few essentials? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

    Jonathan has been blogging since 2009 and is still in awe that the Creator of the Universe desires to have a relationship with him. His passions include spending time with his kids, reading, March Madness, surprise get-a-way trips with his wife, and watching funny YouTube videos.

    Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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    17 thoughts on “The Minimalist Guide to Starting a Portable Business

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    2. Jonathan, this post really resonated with me. The two mentioned above are my 2 main tools of choice.

      But I typically use my iPad for any video coaching (e.g. Platform University). Also, I love Evernote, but to me nothing beats taking notes on a good ol’ note pad.

      • Hi Larry. Love using the iPad as well. Before I got my MacBook Air, I worked pretty exclusively with the iPad. What I do love about the iPad is that it is pretty hard to multi-task which I think improves your focus.

    3. Being able to run a business out of your pocket is truly minimalist. Not having an office to be tied down to and being able to work form anywhere you want is a dream for many of us.

    4. I had to laugh. I love gadgets. I also love my Apple products. Not because they’re cool, they are, but because of there ability to take the complex to simple. I too love the mobility of my new fledgling business. The real challenge is to maintain simplicity.

    5. Thanks for this post! I am looking to get a portable business started. I think I was trying to complicate the process by doing too much.

      • I used to have an Android phone, but I like my iPhone much better. It really is just personal preference I think.

    6. My next machine will be a MacBook Air too. Allthough travelling with just an iPad works quite well for me. even more minimalistic 😉

      • Before I got my MacBook Air, the iPad was my tool of choice! Sometimes I still go back to it for its simplicity. Also, it forces you to not multi-task which is a positive thing.

    7. Great post Jonathan! I recently purchased a Macbook Pro…now I’m kinda regretting the decision not to go with the Air. I was afraid I needed more harddrive, CD input, etc, but my next one will be an Air. I got it refurbished alone with a refurbished thunderbolt 27″ display, so when I’m not going mobile I definitely have plenty of screen to look at. They still came with a warranty and I got them both refurbished for the same price as the Macbook pro would have been new.