Essential Virtual Office Tools
Most successful business people understand that organization is key to their success. Whether they are doing it themselves as entrepreneurs or small business owners - it's no exaggeration that their work lives would be out of control without some attempt at being organized.
Of course, the ideal is to have an assistant. But what small business owner can afford that? That's where virtual office tools come in. The most key component for business is communications - which a virtual office environment is all about. They offer everything - from receptionist, live call answering and forwarding to order taking and beyond.
It's really no different than what we had in a regular office. Actually - it's better. It's more reliable and it always works, so I don't have to work so hard!
File collaboration and management tools are great for all businesses. We've managed to keep the paper tiger in its cage by sharing our files vs. printing everything out. Not only is it more efficient, it's better for the ecology and you never have to worry about losing an important document -- because it's safely stored away in the virtual office.
We use Google Calendar so we all know what's going on. I even put my personal appointments on there so people know not to bug me. Believe it or not, that actually works a lot of the time. You don't have to say exactly what you're doing - just make something up that sounds good. I really like the calendar because I can access it from anywhere at any time.
Even virtual businesses need to hold meetings. We like to use web conference tools, but we also use meeting rooms. There are times when you really have to do a face to face. Outside conference rooms are a lot more affordable than I ever thought they'd be. Davinci offers them for as little as $10 an hour in some places!
I'd be lost without my virtual office tools! I really don't know how I managed without them. Well, actually - not very well. I guess that's the point!