When you’re running a business offline, it’s all about location, location, location. Depending on the nature of your business, you may need a high traffic area that attracts tons if walk-by business, or you may need a quiet, exclusive area that offers your customers the right ambient luxury. With a virtual business, you can work from anywhere. On a plane, on a train, on a mountaintop, on a deserted island, in bed … anywhere.
However, there are a few requirements to make this happen. In the past, you needed a laptop, working electricity, and a physical address. But as chips have gotten smaller and micro-storage as gotten bigger, you can literally carry your phone – and your business – in your pocket. We’ve gone from briefcase-business to smartphone-savvy.
Good camera phone
When you pick your business phone, don’t just rush for style and image. You want a phone with a large screen, so it can double up as your ‘office computer’. It needs a high-res camera with good editing tools so you can photograph products, locations, or even business documents when needed. It should have an extended battery and adequate storage. Buy a model with widespread distribution, so you can get it replaced or repaired from anywhere. Invest in a good cloud service too, in case something happens to your handset.
Reliable internet connection
Wherever you are in the world, pick a mobile service provider with good data bundles. You won’t always have access to WiFi, and online business relies on web connectivity. When you’re looking for a place to stay – Airbnb, hostels, or even an island shack, always ask about their internet. If they don’t have it in-house, see if there’s a place you can get connected within walking or commuting distance. You can also invest in a portable solar charging pack for your phone. Nowadays they have some small enough to fit in your rucksack.
There’s a section of the business world that believes the website is dead, and that your business should focus more on social media outlets. However, you need to have full control of your virtual assets. Your website is your own, while your social media accounts rely on the whims and algorithms of their owners. Also, your website is easier to search and navigate, because social media platforms are driven by constantly shifting feed algorithms. Five minutes after they scroll past, it’ll be hard for your customers to find the exact status update they need. Plus, few social media sites facilitate direct on-site product purchase.
Corporate social media accounts
That said, you do need social media. It lets you engage your customers, interact with them, respond to their needs, and reach them where they are. It’s a helpful tool for customer care, tech support, PR, and advertising. Develop a careful social media strategy that works in tandem with your website to build traffic and establish your brand. It’s also a good way to get leads and follow up your prospects, so equip your business effectively with the best phone in your budget, steady internet, a good website, and well-run social media.