With the advent of Bring Your Own Device policies and cloud-based business computing, businesses are becoming more and more technologically advanced. Just because your business is run out of your home doesn’t mean you have to miss out on the latest business technology innovations. From acquiring and integrating a data-driven smartphone, to using your internet connection to create your own private cloud, follow these five tips to ramp up your home business’s technological profile while still living within your means.
Buy a Smartphone
If you work from home, chances are you also work from your car, from the road, and from everywhere between your customers and your suppliers. Enhance your business’s mobility and flexibility by investing in a mobile device and data plan. That way, you’re always connected and ready to do business, make a sale – or stop a disaster.
- Smartphones are getting cheaper thanks to the popularity of HTML5 web standards, according to Forbes, so keep an eye on your local wireless provider for deals on less expensive mobile devices.
Integrate Your Apps
Obtaining a smartphone only goes so far – now you have to sync it with your business apps. When you run your business software – from your email, your customer relationship management (CRM) system, your sales software, and more – you can access it from anywhere you get a data connection.
- When your apps are loaded onto the phone in your pocket, you don’t have to experience processing, database, or response time delays in the time it takes you to get back to your home office’s systems. That makes your customers, suppliers, and business partners happier.
DLNA (Digital Living Network Alliance) technology enables your smartphone, tablet, television, speakers, and other gadgets and accessories to communicate wirelessly. No cords, dongles, or A/V cables are necessary for a seamless connection between devices.
- Meetings take up much less time when you aren’t fussing with your equipment, and clients are impressed by the alacrity and sophistication of your technology connections.
Audit Your Internet
Are you paying too much for internet service that offers poor quality and shoddy customer support? When you work from home, a solid, reliable internet connection is necessary for you to be able to run your business effectively. You need it to access your small business VoIP, check your email, access apps and databases, and connect with customers and business partners alike.
- Check that your ISP guarantees a high level of reliability in their Service Level Agreement (SLA). It should outline the acceptable limits of downtime, jitter, and other connection issues and establish a process for refunding you should those issues exceed the pre-determined limits. If necessary, you may find you have to switch services to a new vendor with a better reputation in order to get the business-level connection you need.
Create Your Own Cloud
Use a media hub in conjunction with an external hard drive to create your own local, private, home office cloud. With the IOGEAR MediaShair Hub, for example, you can connect up to seven devices wirelessly to access your network files and stream video, music, and pictures with ease. You can find more in-depth instructions for setting up your local cloud at The Daily Comet.
The above business technologies have the potential to extraordinarily impact your business for the better. They help you become more efficient, more mobile, and more reliable. While they are popularly used in the corporate and enterprise-level business world, none of these technologies are outside the price range of your small business. Take them for a spin and see how they can benefit you.