I haven’t been home in months but I am working with clients every day and growing my business. And I don’t miss most of the comforts of home because I have them with me.
How do I do it? I have great apps.
What are the technology applications a.k.a Apps that make working virtually not only possible but productive? I covered some of these in my last post Hey, you! Get on that Cloud: Apps for Small Business, but I thought it might be fun for those of you who are looking to work remotely occasionally (or full time) to read about how everything can work together.
In the morning I grab a hot mug of coffee and I am off to the races. Did anybody book an appointment? TimeTrade allows prospects and clients to book appointments online anytime and syncs with all major calendar programs. This is a must for anyone who trades time for money (e.g., consultants and coaches).
What should I be working on? What do I need to remind my clients to do? What tasks did my clients complete? It’s all in Workflowy. And it sends me an overnight e-mail that shows changes from the previous day. Love that.
Have you ever wanted to show someone your screen because it would be SO much easier than trying to get them to find the thing you are talking about? You have to check out Join.me. So easy, and there is a free version. Your frustration level and blood pressure just went down. You’re welcome.
What about the money stuff? I do everything through PayPal and it makes me feel powerful, like the wizard behind the curtain. I actually send my invoices through PayPal as well so people can pay quickly and easily online. (Pro tip: Make it as easy as possible for people to pay you!)
It is important to back up your schedule and contacts regularly, and also your pictures. I have it set up so that the pictures on my phone automatically get backed up to my Dropbox account.
Need some music to inspire you? Spotify is a must, as far as I am concerned. A few song lists I have get me into the productivity mindset as soon they start playing. I have VERY eclectic tastes in music and Spotify has me covered from 80’s classics to Tango Electronica to random small local bands. One low monthly fee lets you listen to the entire library. I carry small external speakers with me when I travel so others can enjoy the music too.
My Kindle has my business books and Saveur magazines on it. It’s just the thing for late-night reading or long airport layovers. I also can stream movies via Amazon, which is a plus.
When I began my business, I very deliberately set up a virtual business that I could run from anywhere, as long as there is reliable high-speed Internet. If my clients need a personal touch, there is always Skype, Google+ hangouts, or video e-mail through MailVu.
VoIP phones can find you anywhere you tell them to. So with all the great applications above running on my laptop and/or cell phone, I am good to go!
What apps do you use for your business and to enrich your life? I would love to hear your recommendations.