Starting your own business and need to save money?
Want to start your business before signing a lease for office space or getting a mortgage for a building? If your employees are willing to work from their homes, cars, or other moving objects, a work environment within a virtual space may benefit you.
Naturally, there are some issues to deal with when establishing a virtual office, such as the integration of office equipment, in order to provide the best service to customers and make the business function smoothly. Consider the following:
Where to Work
Technically, your office is everywhere. With the technology currently available, you can conduct business almost anywhere. The office could be in your home, in your car, at the airport, on the beach, or even on the top of the mountain.
When your office is based in your home, you need to have a good office set up. This includes a quiet area away from distractions like food, TV, children, or housework. Put it in a place where you like to be, and use a room that is most appropriate for the job.
What happens to your business address? If you are running a business from home, you probably do not want to use your home address as a business address.
Depending on the type of business, you have two options:
- Rent a Post Office box
- Use a commercial email receiver that gives a corporate address and telephone number
Each option has its downside and may require another place to manage your email. Post Office boxes have the disadvantage of not allowing you to receive packages by mail or make deliveries, but this can be solved with the use of a service company specialising in sending and receiving packages. Many of these services send notifications when a package has arrived, no matter the time of day.
These aspects are just the beginning of creating a virtual office. It also requires the introduction of certain virtual office services, including basic furnishings, and it is very important to know if the work environment offered by a virtual office suits you.
Software for Virtual Offices
When choosing software for virtual offices, there are several options to consider. Here are some tips for virtual offices in terms of software you may need:
Programs such as Microsoft Outlook or Eudora provide good email features.
Programs like Microsoft Word, Word Perfect, Lotus Word Pro, or even Google Drive provide adequate word processing capability.
Spreadsheets and Database Programs
The most popular is Microsoft Excel, but you can also use Lotus 1,2,3 or Intuit QuickBase.
It is essential to use software that lets you make presentations, especially if you need them in a professional manner. The basic program is Microsoft PowerPoint, but you can also try Astound or another of the endless free options available on the internet.
For anyone who uses a computer, it is essential to have an antivirus program. Use McAfee, Norton Antivirus, or computer maintenance programs such as Symantec Norton Utilities, McAfee, or TechTool Pro.
Having software for reading PDF formats is very useful, as it lets you view documents formatted as brochures. Try using Adobe Acrobat Reader.
Graphic Design and Editing Tools
It is always important to have software to help you with the design or editing. You can use programs such as Deneba Canvas, Adobe Photoshop, Macromedia Freehand, Adobe Illustrator, and CorelDraw. You can even accompany your scanner with software for editing images.
The internet is essential; no person may carry out virtual office activities without the help of internet platforms such as Microsoft Explorer, Google Chrome, or Netscape.