Going Wireless: Freedom from Office Confines

Get Your Gear in Place

Dragging your desktop computer and important files around with you isn't mobility. In order to even start being mobile, you need some sort of technology to help you.

While the most popular way to enter this field is with a laptop computer, there are other resources. Mobile phones, such as those on the Apple, Android, or Microsoft Networks, and tablet computers like the iPad give you the advantage of constant web access, as long as you get cell phone coverage.

A netbook is still one of the best ways to get going due to its sheer versatility. However, it does require that you have access to a WiFi network, so having alternate web accessing gear isn't a bad idea.

Get Your Business Online

If you store all your files on a computer somewhere; your mobile platform won't do you much good.  The extra back-and-forth to transfer files and synchronize information is painfully counterproductive, and you may even need to invest in extra licensing.

Luckily, there is a solution: cloud computing.

Cloud computing has revolutionized the way people think about computers. Instead of running software, using platforms, or storing files on your computer, you can do it all on the web. Here are a few things you can (and should) move into the cloud:

1) Email

While many of the free email hosting services are on the web, they're less than professional. "Standard" email services for your computer make remote access excruciating. By investing in email hosting designed for remote access, you get the best of both worlds, including access from anywhere at any time, and the ability to archive information.

2) Scheduling

From the free Google Calendar to advanced multi-platform time management systems, having your schedule with you on the go is both doable and highly important.

3) Project and contact management

Basecamp, Inside Sales, Google Wave-esque services [RIP], and Campfire are just a few of alternatives to move your contact management and project collaboration into the cloud. You'll be glad you did when you can pull up a business contact from your cell phone.

4) Documents

With the Google Applications service for businesses and standard Google Documents for smaller groups, you can easily load, store, and edit documents online. The advanced collaboration features make it especially valuable for teams on the move. Once you have the gear in place and have moved your business online, all you have to do is make sure you synchronize your devices and have access to the web.

The path from there is clear. You'll have stepped out into, and bravely conquered, the immense new world of mobile business.

... now you can work from the beach. What? Who said that?

When you decide to free your business from the confines of the office, you have the chance to improve your business work-flow. But like an 18 year old who moves out of his parents' house for the first time, you can completely mess up, ruining the transition and disappointing your employees and clients.

As you approach mobility for your business, it's important for you to know what to invest in, and more importantly, why you're doing it.


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