Whether you want to earn a little extra money while at home, or if you’re looking to start a full-fledged business, you don’t need too much space, largely due to the Internet. Unless you require manufacturing facilities, you might need little more than an unused corner or a small room to do it right.
By all means, make sure that you have a reliable computer or tablet, as well as a reasonably-powerful smart phone. But, don’t buy space-hogging, costly equipment before considering online alternatives like the following.
#1. A Dedicated Land Line Phone
It’s important to compare the advantages and disadvantages between land line and Internet-based systems. Known as Voice-Over-IP (VOIP) systems, the online phones still work on traditional phones within your office. But, they do their work through the Internet, and they offer added benefits.
You can typically have multiple phone numbers, which can help keep personal and business calls in their proper places. Additionally, you can generally program these systems to ring calls through to your office and cell phones simultaneously so that calls reach you no matter where you are. If you’re concerned about losing your connection if the power or Internet connections in your office go down, calls will still get through to your cell phone.
#2. Mailing Supplies and Equipment
The Internet can’t completely replace the costs of postal mail use, but you can handle most standard correspondence through email. Still, if you have to ship products to customers, even the USPS offers a comprehensive set of Internet-based options that can cut down on the space that you dedicate to mailing while also saving money and reducing a few duplicative efforts. Whether you want the system to remember recipients for future mailing, issue special types of delivery options, or even require adult signatures, Internet-based services keep you covered.
Of course, the USPS is not the sole provider of mailing services. A quick search for “online alternatives for mailing” will reveal numerous alternatives.
#3. A Fax Machine
Virtually every business has to send or receive faxes at least occasionally. Businesses in some regulated industries rely on faxing a lot. But, you don’t need to buy and maintain a fax machine when online fax services like eFax allow you to use the internet for secure fax transmissions.
Government regulations typically prohibit sending sensitive data, such as health records or financial information, via email or through online file sharing. They have no such restrictions for online fax services, probably because they provide robust forms of security. As an added benefit, you will have instant access to all messages ever sent since they are all retained within the Cloud, where you can set up an easy-to-use filing system.
#4. File Cabinets
Speaking of filing systems, do you really want to load up your precious office space with bulky file cabinets? Putting papers away and then trying to find them when needed is highly inefficient, not to mention laborious. Do you know anyone who actually looks forward to filing tasks?
You may not feel ready to run an entirely-paperless office, but you can add extra space — and security — to your business by looking into secure Cloud storage. These systems keep important information safe and easy-to-access, and you’ll never get a paper cut.
#5. Projectors for Presentations
As long as your business requires you to present information in front of a live audience, you will most likely need a way to project it onto a screen. Happily, technology has advanced enough to run presentations from your laptop; however, you cannot always avoid an extra device for this purpose.
One way to completely circumvent the need for extra hardware is to stop standing in front of a live audience at all. Today’s Internet-based video conferencing software takes no extra space in your office. It’s also so feature-rich that you can conceivably gain better control over meetings while providing a great interactive experience for your audience.
Even if you cannot avoid running a live-audience experience, you still do not have to store a bulky device in your office — or even carry it on a plane. It’s possible to find pocket-sized devices that fit the bill while avoiding complex setups in favor of blue-tooth connection simplicity.
Saving an Inch Can Gain a Mile for Your Business
It’s amazing how quickly things can pile up in a small office. It doesn’t take long until the clutter can overwhelm your ability to conduct efficient daily operations, much less to think clearly while your surroundings seem to close in around you.
You need to stay on top of any technology that can help you save time while you do your work. But, keep an eye out for the things that do not require Buckingham Palace for storage purposes. You can’t avoid some physical devices, but today’s models are often incredibly small.
Still, in many cases, physical devices have been replaced by Internet solutions. Anything that keeps your office space under control while making you more productive and powerful can help your business grow and prosper.