The majority of small businesses—especially those owned by solo entrepreneurs—are run from home, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration. One big reason? Technology and cloud-based applications and tools make running a business from almost anywhere possible.
“Technology is a home-based business’s greatest ally,” says Vikas Kaushik, CEO of TechAhead, an application developer based in Agoura Hills, California. Home-based businesses need to embrace technology as much as businesses based in a separate physical location, he says—sometimes even more.
When running a business from home, you may have additional challenges—like appearing as established and professional as your competitors or collaborating easily with your team. Technology helps solve those challenges.
What do you need to work from home? While any tech tool that helps you compete, stay relevant in your industry, and save time is smart for a home-based business owner to invest in, here are four types to make sure to have:
High-speed business-grade internet
When you run your business from home, you might be tempted to rely on residential internet service for your company—but there can be significant drawbacks to that. Business-grade internet has several advantages over residential service, including offering many features and benefits geared to businesses as well as higher levels of customer support and network reliability.
Spectrum Business Internet, for example, offers a fiber-rich network delivering 99.9% network reliability and plans designed specifically for business needs. Customers receive a free business domain name and up to five free email addresses. It also can be coupled with wireless internet backup to prevent a power outage at your home from disrupting your connectivity and your business operations.
Business phone and mobile
Likewise, think twice about using your home phone or personal mobile for business calls. Not only can that look unprofessional, but a business phone plan provides additional functionality and features that can improve your customer service and interactions.
For example, Spectrum Business Voice comes with more than 35 advanced business features—including call hold with music, speed dial, and multiple call forwarding and screening capabilities. You can also have a caller ID with your business name and phone number (instead of your personal information). An auto attendant also lets you create a greeting message for when customers or others call.
Having a designated business mobile device and service means you can access your business apps from anywhere and provide customers with an easy way to reach you.
Tools that allow you to quickly and seamlessly communicate and collaborate with
others—whether partners, employees, or independent contractors—become all the more important when you run your business from home. This can include having a project management tool as well as instant messaging, video conferencing and texting.
Look for tools that allow you to avoid having to “toggle” among many disconnected apps, sapping your productivity.
Spectrum Business Connect with RingCentral provides a host of communication and collaboration tools connected in one simple platform—so you don’t have to toggle. You can make business voice calls and video calls, as well as use team messaging and file sharing features and text messaging—all from the same platform. It also includes call analytics and can integrate with your other business apps for a seamless experience.
Home networks are known to be significantly more vulnerable to hacking and other cyber threats due to less-secure routers and a generally more lax environment—with sometimes kids and other household members relying on the same connection. When you run your business from home, you have to be vigilant about cybersecurity.
You’ll want to have a modern business-grade wireless router with at least WPA2 encryption activated and follow best practices for securing that router. You’ll also want to have a password manager to ensure you’re using strong passwords for all of your business applications.
Make sure to also have security software in place on all of your devices that can quickly detect and block viruses, ransomware and spyware in email and as you use internet-connected tools and browsers. Spectrum Business Internet customers receive a free award-winning desktop security and antivirus suite for up to 25 business devices. Moreover, you can get Advanced WiFi—which helps better protect your router from intrusions.
Running a business from home can be rewarding, but the most successful home-based business owners don’t skimp on technology—as it’s a game-changer no matter where you’re located.
Want to find out how Spectrum Business can provide the right solutions for your home-based business? Contact us at 855-299-9353.Print this article