As a modern accountancy practice; we believe wherever possible, businesses should be set up to run from anywhere, without the constraints of being tied to a physical location. Obviously, this is not going to be applicable to every industry, but for those that can adapt, there are a few advantages.
When you’re not tied down by location, you can work from anywhere in the world, especially in the dreary winter months we experience in the UK - working from another sunnier country certainly has more appeal.
Having a business that can be run from anywhere would, in theory, allow for a prospective purchaser to run it from anywhere too. This opens up a much wider market of potential buyers should you ever make the decision to sell. A bigger market of potential purchasers often translates into a higher price.
Let’s face it, as much as you may love your job, starting your day with a long drive in rush hour traffic is not something to look forward to. A half an hour journey to work each day adds up to around 20 hours a month wasted commuting! Time is precious, there are much better ways to spend your time.
To help businesses with this we’ve compiled a few tools we use in our own business to enable us to do this:
This is the go-to tool for businesses and online video meetings, with good integrations to may other tools and a reliable platform, it is the ideal way to communicate face to face via video with your team. Also has the ability to screen share and do presentations. Free for 1 on 1 meetings and group meetings up to 40 minutes. (£11.99 per month for unlimited group meetings and up to 100 participants).
Similar to zoom however has the advantage of being able to run in a web browser this makes it ideal for customer presentations as there is no additional software to download first. Prices start from around £5 per month.
Not to be overlooked for a business setting; Facebook messenger provides video conferencing and screen sharing for small groups. Not everyone has, or is willing to use it due to potential privacy issues but it may be suitable for some.
Office and Mail Management
While you are working away and not tied to a physical location - what about post? Where will that get delivered to?
One tool for this is Scanmypost.co.uk that, as the URL suggests, scans your post to an online account that you can view anywhere in the world. For anything that you do actually need in person there is the option to forward to your address, wherever that may be. A cost- effective option for under £10 per month, for light usage.
This is the name your customers see and send post to - whilst mail forwarding businesses are a good option for mail scanning, the addresses may not look professional, for example, PO BOX 1234 or Appt. 123 - it looks like a mailbox or that you’re running your business from an apartment – may not be the image you want to convey.
To get around this, a registered office can have professional looking addresses, for example, Your Business Ltd, 120 Main Street, London, etc. Post sent to this address can then be forwarded on to the postal address or scanning address. Cost wise, this can be done for around £30 per year. There may be providers that incorporate mail scanning into their services however this is how we have experience doing and it works for us.
Currently, we use Voipphone.co.uk as our call management system. This allows calls to be forwarded to our mobile phones or, if we’re not available, a virtual receptionist takes a short message and Emails the details. This can be done for around £4 per month, plus £1 per call for the virtual receptionist.
For a 24-hour service, Alldaypa.co.uk is the place to go. For under £40 per month plus call charges they offer a fully outsourced customer support team with integrations into CRM systems and many other more advanced features.
If you currently operate from a landline, calls can simply be forwarded to the number for the virtual call system making setup a quick and easy process.
Hopefully the above gives you a great starting point for your business. The companies we recommend above are ones we use or have seen clients successfully use. If you need any help with transitioning your business to work virtually please let us know.
NB – Please note, the prices stated within this blog were as at the date of publication.