For many small business owners, working remotely is not only possible, it's becoming increasingly easier. (In case you haven't heard, there's a simple cloud accounting iPad app that gives you the ability to tackle your books anytime, anywhere.) Accounting aside, here are four keys to successful remote working...
- It's All About Connectivity. As more and more business processes migrate to the cloud, connectivity is the name of the game. As they say, "you're only as productive as your data connection." (We don't know "they" are, but we'll take their word for it.) You're options are pretty straightforward: wifi and cellular.
- It's Also All About Your Device(s). If you're remote setup consists of a laptop or netbook, you're usually at the mercy of wifi. No wifi, no connecting. However, if you're working off a tablet or a smartphone, no wifi usually equals no problem. Most tablets have a cellular data option: 3G, 4G, LTE, etc. The same obviously goes for smartphones. Ultimately, you're ability to work from, say the lake house, depends on your device's connectivity capabilities and what's available (i.e., wifi, cellular). BONUS TIP: you might want to invest in a wifi hotspot if your device doesn't support cellular connectivity.
- Stay Disciplined! Remote working is not for the easily distracted. You need to treat it with respect. Pulling the laptop into bed isn't going to as productive as getting up, taking a shower, making a cup of coffee and actually sitting down at your desk to start your day. If possible, designate a remote workspace that is clearly separated from non-workspace. Example:
- Make Your Core Business Disciplines Remote. There's nothing worse than that "if only I could get to that document back at the office" feeling. And that's where the cloud comes in. With the cloud, you can access just about anything from any device, synced in real time. As for the core business disciplines you want to be able to access, some of the most important include: business financials (Kashoo!), payroll, banking, documents (Dropbox! GoogleDrive!), common forms like invoices (Kashoo again!), notes (Evernote!), meetings (GoToMeeting!), etc.