Because of the advanced state of technology, more people can work from home than ever before. All of the tools a person would need in an office to work and communicate effectively with customers are actually now readily available at one’s fingertips in a home office environment.
Here, we’ll cite a number of those tools.
High-speed internet makes it more efficient. Historically, much of the world has dealt with dial-up and other slow internet speeds that made working from home less productive. Today, wireless access from home is more the rule than the exception for those who work there. This allows home business owners to keep pace with that of their customers who might be in an office environment.
Business calls feel as though they are in person with video. With technology like Skype and FaceTime, those who work from home can now feel as though they are in person with their customer because of the ability to both be able to see and hear one another. Talking to a customer in another country feels all the more high-touch and personal with the advent of video conferencing.
Online meetings make presentations and troubleshooting easier. With technologies like GoToMeeting, sharing your desktop with a customer is made far easier. Instead of sending large presentations over email, share your desktop and run through the presentation that way. Provide product demos that ensure your prospective customer is following right along with you. And even help your existing customer to troubleshoot by being able to see his desktop in order to diagnose technology issues as though you were looking over his shoulder.
Off-site document management systems. Technologies like Dropbox and Box.net allow businesses to share documents with one another remotely. These file locations are hosted in the cloud, allowing anyone who is invited, whether it be from Paris or Hong Kong, to access the files. Click here to find out how to best choose the right document management system for your business needs.There’s an app for your fax machine. Heard of TurboScan? No longer do you have to be at work in order to take care of those few faxes that do need to be handled at times. Turboscan allows one to simply take a high-resolution photograph of each page of a fax, and voilaóthe document is ready to be emailed to whoever the recipient is in a PDF format.
CRM. Customer Relationship Management software like that of Salesforce and MethodIntegration allows salespeople who work from home to manage and share information on their current sales progress without ever setting foot in the office. Tracking things like open leads and activities, and the progress that the team is making on the whole is made so much easier with this software.
The benefits of having all of this great technology are plentiful when it comes to working from home. Technology has taken us to a place where communicating remotely with customers can actually feel as though it is very much an in-person experience even though it is in fact not. This makes the prospect of working from home a ‘virtual’ no-brainer for small businesses!
Have a great application or technology that makes working at home easier for you? We want to hear about it!
About the Author
Cara Aley is a freelance writer who covers a wide variety of topics from digital marketing strategy to business reputation management.