Starting a business without any experience may be considered by some as a crazy idea, a leap of faith even. Since the industry has many ups and downs, it’s easy to think that venturing into it with little or no knowledge is the perfect recipe for disaster. However, being a neophyte can be an advantage, especially if you’re like a sponge who’s willing to absorb anything you can and apply it in building and running your company. You can also team up with companies like Regus to start a business smoothly and with minimal hassle. Most of all, you can always rely on technology to help you with your start-up. A good way to start doing so is by trying a virtual office.
What is a virtual office, you ask. Investopedia defines it as “a business location that exists only in cyberspace.” Virtual offices have grown in popularity over the years, especially for start-ups that don’t have enough funds to build their own office but would want to enjoy the same benefits of having one. So, what tools do virtual offices commonly use?
- Mobile Phones
Mobile phones are hot commodities and for good reason. Aside from their calling and text messaging capabilities, mobile phones may now be used to run your business. You can check your emails, browse the web for news, download productivity apps and even interact with customers through social media using your mobile phone, making this gadget a must-have if you want to go virtual.
- Video and Teleconferencing Equipment
Aside from mobile phones, video and teleconferencing equipment are also essential for a virtual office. With them, you can already conduct meetings with your team or business partners without having to gather in an actual location. You just need a good internet connection and you can communicate with them whenever and wherever you want to.
- Customised Chat Rooms
If you want to go virtual, most, if not all, your communications will be made online. But while you can use free programs like Skype, Viber and Hangouts to do this, it would be beneficial to have a customised chat room designed specifically for your business. This will not only make communicating with your team a lot easier, but it will also prevent any critical company information and trade secrets from being leaked.
- Laptop Computers
While you can always use your existing desktop computer for your virtual office, it’s highly recommended that you invest in a good business laptop that you can use wherever you go. Having one will not only help you maximize your time by letting you work even while you’re in-flight or on the road, but it will also help you stay in touch with your team inexpensively, thanks to programs that you can install on it for free.
- Printers, Scanners and Copiers
Aside from investing in computers for you and your team, you should also buy accessories that will make doing office tasks easy. These include a copier, a scanner and a printer. Although you’re not really running a real office, these devices are still essential for your business. One good money-saving trick here is to look for one that performs most, if not all the functions you need—scanning, printing, faxing and copying—so you wouldn’t spend so much on different devices.
Finally, you should invest in different software and systems that will make running your business a lot easier. One good example of this is a CRM or a Customer Relationship Management System that lets you manage customer information, track sales and measure the efficiency of your marketing campaigns with ease.
So, what are you waiting for? Embrace the many wonders a virtual office can bring to your business today!