Ever since being out on my own, I have joked that wherever there is cell phone reception and public Wi-Fi, I have a place to work. While I have actually “grown up” and gotten myself an office and receptionist, for many years I went at it alone – working out of my house, Panera Bread, McDonald’s or wherever I could get Wifi.
Interestingly enough, today it is even easier to telecommute or run a virtual business thanks to the technology that has become so cheap to deploy. Let’s go over how you can run an entire company on just pennies per day:
#1: Get a domain name, website and email address @yourdomain.com
We list this one first because it goes a long way in proving you are a legitimate company. It is a lot easier to do than you think. Just head over to GoDaddy or Network Solutions and get the domain. Both generally offer a free one-page website and low cost e-mail services. Choose whichever one looks better to you. You can always move your website later if you need to.
(Hint: Be sure to get a .com name. They will try to sell you many different extensions (.info, .co, etc) – those are junk. Stick with .com. Trust me here.)
#2: Get yourself a virtual phone and virtual fax
As you know, we are big fans of both RingCentral and eFax, but there are other options as well, such as Phone.com. The idea here isn’t to steer you to any one service, because they all have their benefits and weaknesses. For instance, you may like one better because it costs less, but another may be easier to use. We do have a page with some RingCentral Coupons that might save you some money in case you are leaning that direction.
#3: Invest in a good, quality computer
This one you may have already, but it is still worth mentioning. If you are going to be serious about doing the best work you can, you need to plan for your computer upgrades. I won’t get into the Mac vs. PC debate, but will tell you this: Mac’s simply last longer. If you have a PC, plan on replacing it every 18-24 months to keep it running smooth. If you have a Mac, every 36 months will probably do. Many Mac owners get even more mileage than that.
Congratulations! You now have the framework of a virtual office.
In the next article, we will explore how to get software at a great price, and if you’re just starting out in business, how you can find work/clients day one.