The traditional workplace is on its last legs with research from Virgin Business even suggesting that the office will be practically dead and buried by 2022, when it is estimated that 60% of employees will then regularly working from home (Virgin Business). This is far from surprising, particularly as the benefits of home working are more than well-known. Of course, for the business owner the draw of being able to work from anywhere in the world provides for a wealth of opportunity, not least of which is a globe of tempting destinations and efficiency that is empowered by being set free from the same four walls.
With this in mind, here we present the ultimate toolbox of resources for the business owner who wants to break all ties from the traditional office, covering the topics of communication, project management, registered offices and Startup incubators.
It seems impossible to remember a world before Skype chat and VOIP systems, when communication was seriously restricted to voice calls only via traditional landlines and mobiles.
However whilst platforms such as Skype are incredibly well known, and have evolved to include features such as group calls and synchronisation with the Android phonebook, it pays to be educated upon the solutions that span beyond this, and that provide for much more.
Vyew could be said to lead the pack as far as an all-in-one communication tool goes. Most notably this service allows for streamlined collaboration with employees who may be anywhere else in the world, including work rooms, forums, voice notes and even activity logs.
Big Marker can be considered as a low cost communication option at just $19 a month, however taking a look at its features would have you believing that this would cost much more. These features include: collaborative conversations, resource sharing, webinars, video conferencing between up to 25 people and a host of collaborative tools that include whiteboards, chats and recordings.
Seriously streamlined Project Management
Perhaps one of the most challenging aspects of remote business running is streamlining project management and directing and collaborating with others whilst not in the same room. Once more, however, this is a realm that has been revolutionised through technology, with the two most notable tools being Wrike and MavenLink.
Wrike is regarded as a project management tool that leads the way for meeting the needs of multiple users. Core features of this tool include: goals that can be broken down into straightforward steps; team ‘mentions’ that ping forward notifications; integration of Excel, Word and Google drive and super powerful email and task setting.
Pros: This tool has paid careful attention to collaboration based around individual tasks and it’s quite clear that their interface has been built and developed by listening to customer feedback. Add to this a range of affordable packages (ranging from $49 per month and upwards), as well as a stellar reputation for customer services support and you have one pretty perfect little package.
Cons: The ‘pretty’ perfect package is subject to a few drawbacks however, mainly that you need to be connected to the internet to use it. However, as a remote business owner, we’re sure that this is a priority for you in any event.
MavenLink is the one stop, cloud-based solution for controlling your project from beginning to end; it allows for time tracking, resource planning, the monitoring of financial performance and a collection of features that empower collaborative working.
Pros: This platform provides for an excellent range of permission levels, which is great for the remote business owner who needs to comprehensively delegate. It’s also full of features that provide for a stable performance.
Cons: The most robust of reports on this platform only come with the pricier of packages, so business owners must be sure to check out in detail just what each package level provides.
Registered office and mail forwarding services
For most companies the need for an address is essential, however this becomes ever more important for a remote business owner who requires a domestic address when they’re actually based abroad. Fortunately there are a wide range of options for these remote entrepreneurs, with many registered office and mail forwarding services being based within prestigious central London locations to provide for an air of authority. These include our very own mail forwarding and registered office services, available from £80 and £25 respectively.
Business incubators have experienced pretty rapid growth since their conception a few years back, and today these centres provide for flexible options for business owners wanting to find their feet. They can range from simply offering physical office space, to providing virtual services such as management training, and may specialise within certain areas, such as creative professions, as well as centres that are more generic.
This virtual business incubator serves up over 1000 business services to their clients, spanning seven departments, and specifically aims to support solid growth over a 6 month period. They provide everything from IT support right through to research and development services. Prices do vary, so you’ll need to contact them for a quote.
This business incubation service is probably the crème de la crème when it comes to the incubation realm. Based within the globally leading technology centre of Silicon Valley, this company provides everything from PR and Media Coverage right through to one-to-one online mentioning. All of which comes with an equally impressive price tag – coming in at a $1000 Annual membership fee.
This London based incubation business is operated by London Metropolitan University. They specifically specialise in helping those within the creative and technological industries in supercharging their company’s growth. They provide a prestigious registered address, tax advice, access to investors, entrance to exclusive events and training as well as student and graduate interns.