Between the mushrooming “gig economy” and huge advances in wireless and cloud-based technology, there are now more virtual businesses than ever before. Some 40 million Americans are now self-employed, many of them operating their own businesses with little more than a laptop and a smartphone. But even companies that are run remotely still need important IT services like reliable Internet and ample storage. If you’re a solopreneur or a small business operating remotely, here are a few critical IT basics you should consider.
Cloud-Based Backup and Storage
Since your company is basically operating without a brick-and-mortar location or dedicated servers, backing up critical files can quickly become a challenge. Not only do laptops and portable drives lack the storage you need, but they are more vulnerable to damage and failure due their mobility. Thankfully, cloud-based backup and storage platforms like Dropbox and Google Drive are more accessible and robust than ever before, and a modest monthly cost gets you the added security of knowing your data is safe. In addition, cloud storage allows you to sign in, access and sync your files between devices seamlessly.
These days, the cloud is good for more than just data storage. More and more small businesses are replacing their traditional desktop applications with a growing number of subscription-based cloud computing applications. Office 365, Google Apps for Business and several other platforms now offer entire suites of applications that allow business owners and their teams to collaborate seamlessly online with little or no downtime required to install software or run updates. From CRM platforms to project management to accounting, cloud computing makes it easier than ever for small virtual businesses to compete with much larger ones.
You need a business phone, but you don’t necessarily want it to be your cell phone. Cloud-based VoIP now makes it easy for virtual businesses to establish one or more dedicated business numbers, complete with a suite of features, without the need or added cost of a land line. And if you want to conduct business via your smartphone, you can simply route your calls to your cell phone without giving out your personal cell number.
Even small businesses like yours can become easy targets for hackers and cyber threats, especially if you’re conducting business over public WiFi. Make sure you protect your computer, your personal data and your customers’ information with basic security tools like a robust antivirus program and personal firewall—and only go online behind the protection of a virtual personal network (VPN).
Keeping on top of all these considerations can be challenging, which is why even Orange County virtual businesses like yours can benefit from managed IT services. To learn more how we can help keep your business up and running from anywhere, give us a call at 1-877-NetServ.