If you run a small business, you probably have built or found yourself a nice office space either rented or at your own home. However, today’s technology opens new doors for small companies. Modern electronic devices are very compact and they are becoming more and more affordable. As a result, many small business owners have chosen to have mobile offices. Such setups enable them to work from pretty much anywhere they want.
Some of you may be skeptical towards this idea at first. However, mobile offices have a lot of advantages. First of all, they will save you a huge amount of money. You will not need to pay rents, water and electricity charges and etc. Also, your work will be more organized since everything you need will be in one place and not scattered between your fixed office and your home. In addition, you will become more productive, because you will be able to do things right now, right here, wherever that is.
Creating a Mobile Office
The backbone of every mobile office is technology. Nevertheless, not every piece of equipment will do the trick. Also, you will need to know how to combine your electronics in a way that will be both effective and money-saving.
The main thing in your mobile office is your computer device. Here you have a few different options – a laptop, a tablet or a smartphone. We are not including desktop computers since they are not portable and thus not suitable for a mobile office. Also, we do not recommend you to rely on a smartphone. Even though they have become more functional and bigger, they still won’t be really effective when it comes to creating documents or typing, for instance.
So you are practically left with only two options. Laptops are heavier and bulkier than tablets. However, now there are various models, like ultrabooks, which are very light and powerful. Also, laptop computers are perfect for writing documents and typing. Despite that, if your business does not require the use of any heavy software or the storage of a huge amount of data and backup, you can easily go with a tablet PC. If you are not happy with its typing functions, you can purchase a special keyboard for it. In addition, tablets come with useful apps which can enable you to receive and pay invoices pretty quickly.
Now you will need a reliable and constant Internet connection. Although there are many Wi-Fi hot spots today, they are still limited in some areas. Moreover, they do not offer you private, reliable or secure access to the web. Actually your choice of Internet connection will depend on the amount of time you will need to spend online. If you don’t have to use the Internet all the time you can opt for prepaid wireless web connection on 3G and 4G mobile networks. Those of you who will need to spend more time online can try using cards for mobile access with data plans. Also, you can use a MiFi device which is basically a wireless portable router.
A mobile office does not have file cabinets. That means that everything will need to come in virtual form. It is best if you use cloud storage services. They will enable you to upload, store and share a large amount of different files. In addition, you can use cloud software, like Microsoft’s Office 365 which offers even more features.
Some small business will need electronic devices like scanner and printers. Don’t worry because these technologies already have portable versions. Nevertheless, remember to always bring your chargers and power cords with you.
If you are relying on a tablet PC you can consider using mobile apps in your work. It is a good idea to have an app for voice recording or notes creating. That will allow you to quickly capture your ideas. Another type of app you can use in your mobile office is one that supports video and voice connection, like Skype. In that way, you can hold online meetings wherever you are. Also, you can install a payment processor app if you think that your small business will need it. Microsoft offers a large variety of business software with a 30 days trial period and if you are a Windows user, you may research the options.
Thanks to technology, running a small business has never been so flexible. Mobile offices offer more freedom than any other office option.