The Right Technology – The Key to Building a Lifestyle Business

Is your goal to build a lifestyle business that you can virtually run from anywhere in the world? If so, listen up!

Technology (tech for short) has changed in a massive way since I first started out in tech back in the early 1980’s. Back then very few people had a computer in their home. No one had a cell phone. (When I started, the ‘bag phone’ wasn’t even out yet!)  I spent over 30 years in the technology industry and my first few businesses were tech companies. So, I know a little about tech.

Today, everything is about tech. And if you have a coach or consulting business, virtual offices are the way to go.

With so many options to choose from when it comes to technology, I thought I would share some suggestions to make sure your tech is up to speed especially if you are looking to create a lifestyle business that allows you to work from almost anywhere in the world.

Here is what having a virtual office can do for you:

  • One of the best things about virtual technology is the freedom it gives you. You can work from anywhere – your home, a coffee shop, or even a beach. This flexibility helps you stay creative and productive.
  • Setting up a virtual office is way cheaper than renting an office space. You save money on rent, utilities, and office furniture. You can use these savings to grow your business.
  • With virtual technology, you can hire talented people from all over the world, not just from your local area. This way, you get the best talent at a lower cost.
  • Modern virtual tools make it easy to work with your team and clients, no matter where they are. You can share documents, chat, and manage projects all in one place.

Here a some essential tools for your virtual office:

Communication and Collaboration Tools:

  • Slack: A messaging app for team communication. They have a free version that works just fine as you build your business.
  • Zoom: For video calls and online meetings. The Zoom free version has time limitations and not as many bells and whistles as the paid versions, but if you are just starting out, you can easily work around these. The paid version are not crazy expensive if you decide you need more from the application.
  • GoogleMeet is another option for video calls and communication. Their free version allows for a 1-hour meeting and their paid versions are less than Zoom.

Project Management Software

  • Trello: Uses boards and cards to organize tasks.
  • Asana: Helps manage projects and track progress.
  • Basecamp: Keeps everything organized and easy to find.

Trello and Asana have basic free versions you can use. Basecamp gives a 30-day trial if you want to check it out before committing.

Cloud Storage and File Sharing

  • Google Drive: Store and share files online. This is the most common and the free version gives you 15GB of storage space.
  • Dropbox: Secure file storage with sync across devices. Their free version gives you 2GB of storage space.
  • OneDrive: Microsoft’s cloud storage solution. This comes with Microsoft Office 365 subscriptions, so if you already have that, you are good to go.

Productivity and Time Management

  • Todoist: A web-based to-do list app that can help businesses keep track of tasks and projects across platforms and languages.
  • RescueTime: A tool that can help users stay focused on tasks with features like website blocking, on-screen reminders, and data graphing.
  • Focus@Will: A tool that combines neuroscience and music to help users focus and be more productive.

There is a lot of tech involved in setting up your virtual office outside of the tools.

Here are some additional things to consider.

  • Make sure you have a fast and stable internet connection. Consider having a backup to avoid downtime.
  • Set up a comfortable workspace with a good chair, desk, and proper lighting to avoid strain.
  • If you are on the go, (say… at the beach!) make sure you have some shade in place so you can see your screen.
  • For a mobile office, get a lightweight laptop, noise-canceling headphones, and portable chargers. A mobile hotspot can help you stay connected anywhere.
  • Use strong passwords, two-factor authentication, and a reliable VPN. Regularly back up your data to avoid losing it.

Recommended Computer Requirements for a Virtual Office (Coach/Consultant)

  • Processor: Recent generation Intel Core i7 or higher. These processors will provide enough power for most tasks like video conferencing, document editing, and web browsing.
  • Memory (RAM): 16GB. This will allow you to run multiple programs smoothly, including video conferencing software and multiple browser tabs open at once.
  • Storage: 512GB Solid State Drive (SSD). An SSD will make your computer boot up and load programs significantly faster than a traditional hard drive.

Additional Considerations:

  • Video Conferencing: If you plan on doing a lot of video conferencing, a webcam with at least 720p resolution is recommended.  A separate microphone can also improve audio quality. If you plan to be out of your home office, in places where others are hanging out, a headset with a microphone is your best bet.
  • Multiple Monitors: For your home office, consider using a second monitor to increase productivity. This will allow you to have multiple applications open at the same time without having to switch back and forth.

PC Options:

Many pre-built desktop PCs or laptops will meet these requirements. Look for business-oriented machines that are built for reliability and performance.

Mac Options:

  • Apple MacBook Air: This is a good option for those who prioritize portability and a sleek design.
  • Apple MacBook Pro: The 14-inch MacBook Pro is a more powerful option if you need to do more demanding tasks, such as video editing or data analysis.

NOTE: Technology is constantly changing. Always make sure you check with someone in the know before purchasing a new system. This could possibly save you thousands of dollars in the long run.

Additional Computer Buying Tips:

  • Consider your budget. You don’t necessarily need the most expensive computer on the market to be successful as a coach or consultant.
  • Think about your needs. If you plan on doing a lot of video editing or data analysis, you may need a more powerful computer.
  • Don’t forget about peripherals. A comfortable keyboard and mouse can make a big difference in your productivity.

Chances are pretty good you already have some of this in place if you have already started your business. If you are just starting out, utilize the free tools and apps before committing to a monthly or annual subscription. If your computer is not quite up to snuff, that’s okay. keep using what you have until you find it is seriously hindering your productivity or it is too old or breaks and it’s time to get a new one.

It’s time to start creating that lifestyle business you have always dreamed of having.

If you would like help understanding what technology is best for your needs, click here to schedule a free, 30-minute Tech Review call where I will go through what you currently have, understand your needs, and make suggestion to get you on the right track for creating your virtual office.