Nowadays, small business owners are starting to see the advantages of working remotely. Modern technology offers many tools for managing a business and interacting with employees or customers from anywhere. These tools were once limited to big businesses due to their cost and infrastructure requirements, but improvements in public networks and hardware have now brought them within reach of the small business owner.
By adapting some procedures and adopting new practices, small business owners have the option of maintaining their business while they travel, inspiring a more balanced lifestyle.
Here are some technologies available to the small business owner that will give them the freedom to travel while they work.
Chat and Notifications Apps
There are several chat and notification apps which allow a small business owner to communicate directly with their employees or customers and setup notifications. These apps allow direct communications or group chats to keep everyone connected. One of the top apps in this segment is Slack which works seamlessly on mobile and desktop machines allowing the small business owner to easily transition from office to travel and back again.
Video Conferencing Apps
Small business owners can video conference on the road with a variety of great video conferencing app options. On the simple end, apps like Apple's Facetime have been available for quite some time and the latest versions even allow multiple people to join the same call. Apps designed specifically for business applications include Skype, WebEX and Fuze. These apps have free and paid options and have features which you won't find in the consumer-oriented apps like Facetime. These features include cross-device operation so you can participate in calls from a desktop phone, mobile phone or desktop computer. Some of them also offer notification support to send follow-up emails automatically to those who participated in a call.
Project Management Tools
These tools help business owners manage several people over the course of a lengthy, challenging project. These apps typically include calendars, group chat services, activity tracking, task management, to-do lists and more. The current top apps in this arena are Basecamp and Teamwork. These are excellent tools which will allow a small business owner to manage, track and monitor all the projects in process at the office while traveling.
AI Virtual Assistants
There are a number of companies now offering AI virtual assistant applications which can help manage your business while you are traveling. These apps are similar to a Siri or Alexa application with many more features geared specifically toward business use. Some examples include X.ai, 24me, Assistant.ai, and Hound. These apps can handle anything from scheduling meetings to getting you an Uber or hotel room while you travel.
Keeping and maintaining notes on paper while traveling can be a nightmare. Instead, small business owners should look to high tech note-taking applications like Evernote or Trello. These apps get rid of the paper and bring all your notetaking to your mobile device. This makes notetaking and organization much easier, and it allows you to share your notes with other people in your organization. Notes can be synched across devices. You can even scan in hand-written notes, and store them alongside those entered by typing through the app.
Modern technology provides a myriad of powerful tools for the small business owner to operate their business while they travel. Nearly every aspect of managing and maintaining a small business can now be handled more efficiently than ever before from a remote location. These tools give the small business owner the ability to travel while still running their business, opening up a whole new world of possibilities.