Part III: Handle Your Biz Anywhere
Thanks to technology, entrepreneurs have the flexibility to run their businesses however they want wherever they want. Whether you’re just starting out and want to keep your costs down, or you just want to keep your business operations mobile, there are a number of ways to run your business on the go.
Google It: Google is an entrepreneur’s best friend. One of the things you can do with Google is set up your email account to run on it. For example, if your email address is firstname.lastname@example.org, you can set it up to access it by logging into Google instead of the e-mail portal that usually comes with website platforms. This service costs $40-$60 a year depending on your payment plan (it’s free if your website’s hosted on Squarespace). Additionally, you can use Google Drive to access word documents, spreadsheets, forms, calendars, and more. Depending on your industry, you may have to take some extra precautions to protect sensitive data in the cloud; but Google Drive is free and can be accessed on any computer, tablet, or cell phone, making it easy to run your business anywhere.
Slack Off: An inbox full of emails can get pretty overwhelming (and annoying). Cut down on the emails and use Slack to communicate with your team. Slack is a messaging app that lets you communicate via channels and direct messages. You can send files, search for messages in archives, and you can also access Slack online. There is a free option, as well as paid packages that include more features.
Mobilize Money: Make it easier to get paid for your work by accepting payments for free through Venmo. If you need to accept payments on the spot, you can do so with a card reader through Square or PayPal- both services also allow you to send invoices to clients.
Go Paperless. Send and execute contracts electronically by using services like HelloSign or DocuSign. And turn documents into PDFs on the spot with a scanner app, like Tiny Scanner, which lets you scan documents through your phone for easy electronic filing and storage.
Put on a Front: Need an office space without the commitment? Look into a virtual office or co-working space. These options allow you to use that address as your business address, and depending on your pricing plan you can use the office space to meet with your clients a certain number of times per month.
Give these options a try as you figure out how best to run your business.