5 essential tools to run an online business
For many people it is a dream to run a business completely online. Maybe because this is a cost-efficient way of running a business, or perhaps it’s the freedom that it offers. Whatever the reason, this is now a viable way of running a business, and if done right, can be even more effective than taking a traditional office based approach. If this is something that interests you then here are some essential tools you are going to need to run an online business.
First and foremost, a website is essential for running an online business, especially if you want to take advantage of free web traffic through search engines. Wix makes it easy to design and maintain a beautiful looking website yourself. With a multitude of add-on apps from Wix and third party developers, the functionality of a Wix website can rival any purpose-built site from a web designer. And the best thing, you can easily make changes yourself without having to go through an external party.
Creating and editing documents is a must for businesses and Microsoft are the leaders in this market. Their Office 365 product suite gives you access to all of your favourite Office products like Excel, Word and PowerPoint. You can access these online or download the apps directly onto your computer, tablet or mobile phone, making it easy to edit documents from wherever you are in the world. You can also easily collaborate on documents with other people within your business, allowing you to put together that important customer proposal in no time.
Online meetings will be necessary if you are working in the B2B space or even if you have a team across multiple locations. Skype is a reliable and cost-effective online meeting tool that lets you easily host meetings through your computer, tablet or smartphone. Perfect for maximising productivity while travelling, and staying connected with your team and customers.
One of the biggest concerns of not having a physical premises is that you also don’t have a dedicated phone line. Sure you can use your mobile but then you start crossing business with your personal life and risking your professional image. A great alternative to using your own mobile number is a business phone line service like Grasshopper. This gives you a dedicated business phone number that you can route directly through to your mobile. This gives your business a professional image while minimising that crossover between your personal and professional life.
Instead of creating a home server why not host everything in the cloud? Well, Microsoft offer a fantastic option for you to do this. OneDrive allows you to save your documents and other assets online and share them within your organisation or with customers. The basic business package will give you access to a terabyte of online storage which is going to take you quite some time to use up. The option to store your documents online is great for conducting business on the move. Check out our blog on how you can create an online IT setup using OneDrive.
Start your online business today
Starting an online business is great, especially if you want the flexibility to travel or work from home. By utilising existing tools, you can easily set up and manage your business from anywhere you are in the world. Not only are you increasing your flexibility but creating an efficient business model that is not confined to the limitations of operating out of a physical location.
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