With regards to technology, small businesses and entrepreneurs working out of a home office used to be at a competitive disadvantage. But the abundance of productivity tools and online resources for small businesses has changed all that. Being small doesn’t have to look small — now you can run your business from beaches and terraces of the world with just a cell phone or a tablet.
Now, smartphones are practically office computers in and of themselves, allowing you to stay connected 33,000 feet up in the air or stuck in gridlocked traffic. Not surprisingly, a Small Business Technology Poll taken by AT&T reports a steady increase in the use of tablets, 4G devices and mobile apps for business purposes. The next step for the 85 percent of small businesses using smartphones is utilizing the variety of tools available online.
Here are three inexpensive resources that help small businesses and the one-person team working from home — and your business shouldn’t be without them.
- Virtual phone system. This system allows companies of all sizes to have a business-class virtual phone system designed to help small and home-based business owners build the same strong, professional image as larger competitors. It comes with toll-free numbers, Internet fax, voice mailboxes and more.
- Accounting software. Depending on the size of your business, it may not be pragmatic to have a full-time accountant, and outsourcing can be pricey. But accounting software can be optimized for all business types. Software of this nature tends to be very user-friendly and extremely secure.
- Mobile Friendly website. Because the majority of customers look to the internet to find local businesses and because the trend to smartphones is increasing rapidly, it is important that your website provides a mobile friendly experience so that your potential leads do not have to zoom in to find the most basic information about your products or services.
With these and other tools, small businesses actually stand a chance against large companies and big budgets.