How to Run a Business Without a Building

  • For an increasing number of businesses, mobile devices are replacing the traditional office, transferring company headquarters from physical space to virtual space. Eighty percent of small businesses owners now use mobile phones for business at least once a day, while 25 percent use their smartphone hourly, Manta reports. In fact, 10 percent of executives say their smartphone is their exclusive device for making business decisions, Forbes states.

    Successfully running a business from your mobile device requires making some adjustments from the way a traditional brick-and-mortar business is managed. Here are some tips on how to manage your business if you're ready to run your business from a virtual office.

    Choose the Right Device

    A good business device should offer a large display screen, fast performance, long battery life and strong security features. Depending on your needs, other features such as split-screen multitasking capability and an input device such as a stylus may also be important. Take into consideration the operating system you need; choose one that will seamlessly integrate with your business applications. It's also recommended to check the devices out in person to get a feel for the size and weight.

    Use Remote Financial Management Tools

    One of the most important business functions you can run from a mobile device is financial management. The centerpiece of an effective remote financial management strategy is a cloud-based accounting tool. Some of today's leading options include premium tools such as QuickBooks Online, low-priced tools such as Zoho Books and freeware tools such as Wave Accounting, Business News Daily says.

    These tools can also conduct and automate other important financial functions, such as payroll, invoicing, point-of-sale transactions and tax preparation. For best results, choose one that integrates with your cloud-based accounting solution so that you can automatically export data between your bookkeeping software and your other financial programs.

    Create a Cloud-Based Virtual Workflow

    To streamline your mobile business, adopt apps that enable you to set up a cloud-based virtual workflow. For most companies, one of the most essential elements of creating a virtual workflow is selecting an online productivity suite. Today's two most popular cloud productivity solutions are Google Apps for Work and Microsoft Office 365, which enable functions such as word processing, spreadsheet management, email and calendar scheduling. Additional specialized apps are useful for other business functions, such as project management, time tracking and customer relationship management.

    Protect Your Data

    When your business lives online, losing data can mean losing your business. This makes protecting and backing up your online information essential. To protect your data, one vital step is implementing good security practices. These include using a secure connection when using the internet, employing strong passwords with two-factor authentication, staying up to date on the latest software upgrades, using anti-virus programs to protect your devices and making sure your staff knows and follows your security policies. Another best practice is to schedule automated backups using an online backup service. This will protect your data in the event of a cyber attack or another emergency that compromises your network.