The internet has made it possible for almost anyone to run a business from the comfort of their own home. This has opened doors for aspiring entrepreneurs, whether they’re students making money to pay for school or a stay-at-home mom creating an empire while her children nap.
One of the challenges of running a from-home business is presenting yourself as a traditional business. To do so, you need the right tools for the job. Here are five tools to bring your work-from-home business to the next level.
A virtual switchboard is a must-have if you have certain hours which you are unavailable or have an assistant. A virtual switchboard acts as a receptionist, so you can operate your business under one centralized number and ensure every caller’s needs get addressed. It also helps screen calls if necessary.
UniTel Voice is a virtual phone system that works with your existing phones (home, office, or smartphone app), so you can run your business from anywhere. So, if you step out of the office to drive your child to one of their extracurricular activities, you know an important client isn’t getting missed.
If you run a work-from-home business, you’ll want to add a receipt scanner app to your phone. This can help you reduce the overstuffed files in your office that stick around for years due to tax requirements. If you want to keep the paper, you know that you have a backup should anything get lost.
NeatReceipts is a scanner that prides itself on helping entrepreneurs work smarter, not harder. Everything is scanned in and accessible from either your phone or computer. You can search through receipts easily and track metrics by sorting them into different areas. If you have an employee or assistant, they can also scan their receipts to you when submitting expenses.
If you do regular work for clients, they often appreciate progress reports to keep abreast of your efforts. However, creating progress report from scratch can be time-consuming. Find templates for reporting that use the 5-15 method: it takes no more than 15 minutes for you to write and five minutes for your client to read.
Alternatively, you can use project management software like Bandcamp or Asana to be able to report to your clients in a more visual format. They will be able to see where you are whenever they check, as you constantly update the software to show your progress on a project.
Social Media Management
Having an online presence is of the utmost importance in the internet era. As mentioned before, the accessibility and technological advances of the internet have created ample opportunity for aspiring entrepreneurs, but they come with a price. Having consistent social media posts is necessary to reach your potential clients and work around the different algorithms.
Buffer is one of many social media management platforms that allows you to post to your different accounts with the click of a button. It is also one of the only ones that posts to Instagram. Rather than taking hours out of your day to search for content, copy and paste, you can add a one-click button to your toolbar and post as you find information.
If you’re not quite where you need to be in your business to hire an assistant, but have too much to juggle, you need an Amazon Echo. This home assistant can help schedule appointments, keep you productive, and operate your smart home devices so that you’re always working in a happy, comfortable environment.
It’s worth noting that aside from the practical applications– like scheduling and setting reminders— Alexa can turn on a kettle so you can have your coffee or tea fresh while you work. If that doesn’t make you feel like a part of the big leagues, nothing will!
Having the right tools means getting the job done efficiently, so you can grow and become successful from the comfort of your home.