With so many people accustomed to working in remote environments, businesses no longer need a centralized location to find success. If they make strategic choices about which technologies to adopt, ambitious entrepreneurs can launch, run and grow a successful business right from their own home.
One important part of the equation in building a home-based business is having the right tech tools in place. Below, ten members of Young Entrepreneur Council discuss key ways for entrepreneurs to leverage technology to help their home-based business thrive. Follow their tips to set yours up for success.
1. Invest In Developing A Great Website
More than ever before, the website is integral to the success of a brand and business today. Yet, as we move further online, many brands and services are pumping more of their budget into ad buys. Optimize your website and invest in really great, thoughtful content that builds authority online, and you will witness success. I fully stand behind investment in web development as the most important feature of a home-based business. We will likely see more of this in the coming years, and the website will be the determining factor of success. – Matthew Capala, Alphametic
2. Upgrade Your Internet Speed
It’s something that is often overlooked by entrepreneurs, but high-speed Wi-Fi is crucial to running an efficient home-based business. With a high-speed Wi-Fi connection, the internet will load a lot faster, files will download more quickly and email will sync more efficiently. It will also eliminate a lot of time-wasting. – Kristin Kimberly Marquet, Marquet Media, LLC
3. Optimize Your Website For Search
Today, small businesses have to compete with brands that have deep pockets for the attention of consumers on social media, which means they often burn through ad budgets with little to show for it in sales. SEO, on the other hand, doesn’t have to continually be fed precious capital to keep delivering sales results. Once a piece of highly optimized content is on a website, it will continue sending high-quality prospects to the business for years to come, not just when the ads are running. This makes SEO one of the best values for marketing when just starting out, as the effects compound with time. – Richard Fong, Automatic Growth
4. Pay For A Premium Virtual Private Network
For a home business, there are a lot of free versions of business software that can easily take the place of a premium version. However, one service that you absolutely shouldn’t skimp on is a VPN. This will provide many benefits to any web-based business: improved security, more reliable communication and the ability to more easily interact with an international audience. – Bryce Welker, CPA Exam Guy
5. Use Free Versions Of Software As Long As You Can
Using as much free tech and software as possible will help immensely in getting a new home-based business off the ground. Free task-management platforms such as Trello, messaging platforms such as Slack and free or inexpensive trials of software will be your best friends in the early days, before you have the funds to buy the programs you get along the best with. Don’t forget about social media for getting the word out about your brand. Besides that, use the savings to invest in your website and optimize it for SEO, as this is a very big part of how new customers will find you. – Emily Stallings, Casely, Inc.
6. Maximize Your Use Of Google Drive
From storing receipts you can use for filing taxes to checking on your employees’ tasks in real time, Google Drive offers easy access anytime, anywhere. Start from there. Make decisions fast and easy by making sheets that are already filtered accordingly. Stop with the messy papers and start with the cloud! – Daisy Jing, Banish
7. Leverage A Home Voice Assistant
A home voice assistant device may not seem like a particularly helpful piece of tech for entrepreneurs, but using one adds powerful convenience. Being able to take calls, participate in conferences or set up events with just a voice command quickly becomes second nature. And every time you create a little less work for yourself, you end up freeing your mind to focus on what matters. The book Willpower, authored by Roy F. Baumeister and John Tierney, explains well how we deplete our glucose levels every time we exert ourselves mentally. Something as simple as a voice assistant device can reduce decision fatigue and help us focus our minds on more creative activities. – Syed Balkhi, WPBeginner
8. Use Customer Relationship Management Software
Cultivating relationships with your customers is what business is all about. With a customer relationship management system, you can do this more effectively and efficiently over time. Growing your home-based business can be a hassle, as you’re likely running the business yourself. By syncing your marketing and sales strategies, getting better insights into how to serve customers, managing tasks and making communication easier, a CRM can be the cheap yet effective “staff” you desperately need to achieve a work-life balance. – Samuel Thimothy, OneIMS – Integrated Marketing Solutions
9. Invest In An SaaS Solution For Your Ticketing System
Since your business is going to be remote, communication with your colleagues and customers is crucial. Investing in an easy-to-use customer-support ticket platform that everyone has access to will provide a solid foundation for streamlining your business and put you ahead of the start line. A good ticketing system will also track metrics on your performance and your customer satisfaction levels. Then there’s the obvious: Invest in a proper home office setup. A desk, dual monitors and an adjustable chair will not only help to stifle the burn-and-churn of starting a new business, but also help you separate work from leisure in your home. – Mark Stallings, Casely, Inc
10. Utilize Business Voice Over Internet Protocol
For any company, business communication is crucial for defining the customer experience the brand cultivates, which can be a determining factor in the company’s survival. Business VoIP providers now offer many useful, small-business phone system features, such as custom greetings, hold music, call analytics, video conferencing, messaging and vanity/local numbers. Business VoIP is generally very affordable, and some providers even offer free business VoIP plans. – Reuben Yonatan, SaasList