In any small business, the success of it depends largely on how well it is managed and how efficient it is at operating with sometimes limited resources. It takes a fair amount of investment in time and money to operate a business.
There are a lot of detailed expenses that come with managing that business on a daily basis. A business can be a rewarding but expensive one, prompting many entrepreneurs and small business owners to go the way of the virtual office to reduce overall expenses.
In the virtual office, technology is the hub of the business and helps it to move along. A good technological system will enhance the efficiency and communication of the business, both key components in helping it to stay productive.
The office technology should be comprehensive, adaptable and able to integrate into the office management structure in a seamless fashion. While it doesn’t take much to make that happen, here are a few essential tools for the virtual office to ensure high productivity:
For the virtual office, paper files are essentially useless. It’s far better and more efficient to share computer files directly with other users.
One very efficient file collaboration software called LapLink Share Direct allows this sharing, and eliminates the need to have to change your computer’s configuration for the Internet, firewall or router systems.
A good software tool for sharing calendars, events and scheduling appointments is the Google Calendar. You can create multiple calendars, share them with unlimited users and manage it all from your mobile device or your desktop computer.
The Google platform also has a word processing software program that is great for accessing from any computer with an Internet connection. The Google Docs interface works well with any file type, eliminating formatting conversion issues, making it easier for you to work with client files of any kind.
Both of these software programs can be customized to your preferred settings, and you can manage the layout, style, etc. Best of all, Google Docs and Google Calendar are both free!
Every virtual business needs a platform to hold meetings. For that, one of the best tools available is at www.gotomeeting.com. It’s great for web conference calls and client training, and only carries a minimal monthly cost for the service.
In addition, with any client training, it may be necessary to view and interact with other computers to make that happen. Software like RealVNC is a great tool for facilitating that action, and is very comprehensive.
A key component in everything virtual, communications is a very important area. Instant Messaging and chat tools like Skype and Google Chat would be ideal for the virtual office since they can be accessed also by using any computer with Internet connection.
The primary focus and main idea to keep in mind when you are managing a virtual office is to maintain a solid and comprehensive technological infrastructure. Each virtual office is different, and may require different components, but the overall coverage should focus on the business’ technology set-up.
Annie is a business blogger for Dobovo, the free tool for finding affordable Kiev apartments.
Image: Soctech / Flickr