Home – New Forums Get productive Home Office Set Up

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  • #987691
    John…WW
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    Hi,

    After 10 years in a small office we are moving back home. It has been so long since we worked from home I am really out of touch. Just putting out a request for ideas on how people have set up their office ie phone systems, broadband, customer management systems. I will have an employee that will work from their home as well, so thinking of a server for documents etc.

    Interested in what people have done and how things have changed that make it easier.

    Many thanks in advance.

    John

    #1163821
    Lucinda Lions
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    Hi John

    Best of luck setting up your new home office after a decade offsite! How is it all coming along?

    I asked members of the Flying Solo Facebook community what they feel is important for their home office and they replied with stacks of useful advice. You may want to check out their suggestions: https://www.facebook.com/FlyingSoloAU/posts/825202177508344?stream_ref=10

    Hope it helps!
    Lucinda :)

    #1163822
    ShadowPro
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    I’ve worked with lots of home based businesses, and I advise them to do the same as me;

    • VOIP – cheap incoming & outgoing + take your number where ever you go.
    • Server – forget it – get everything in the cloud. I make way more money selling and servicing servers than anything else. Without exception they are costly to buy, install and run.
    • If you really need fast file sharing get a Network Attached Storage NAS device – I normally go for and sell Netgear ReadyNAS.
    • Email – cloud. I recommend (and sell so biased) Google Apps. Connect it to Outlook through sync tool and you have an Exchange server for $50 per user per year.
    • Backup to NAS and Google Drive. You can also share folders between yourselves on Google Drive and it’s very cheap – $2.99 pm for 100Gb. Netgear NAS can be backedup to ReadyNAS vault which is cloud backup service, disk to disk to cloud is about as resilient as you can get for SMBs.
    • CRM – get a cloud based one, and test a whole bunch. I went through about 7 before finding the right one.
    #1163823
    sohoAustralia
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    Hi John – I’m a real big fan of everything cloud.

    Also a clear distinction between your workplace and home – I find that when I start blurring the lines my productivity suffers.

    Also, work on any isolation issues. It’s one of the biggest drawbacks to working from home.

    All the best,
    Martin

    #1163824
    tomwhite
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    sohoAustralia, post: 191030 wrote:
    Hi John – I’m a real big fan of everything cloud.

    Also a clear distinction between your workplace and home – I find that when I start blurring the lines my productivity suffers.

    Also, work on any isolation issues. It’s one of the biggest drawbacks to working from home.

    All the best,
    Martin

    Completely agree on both of these points.

    I now work in a converted garage which is not directly connected to the house – I have to physically go out of the house, shut the door and open up my office – which really helps.

    I’ve also recently started looking in to networking groups and other ways to meet people on a professional level.

    Having said this working from home is brilliant and I wouldnt change it, as long as you are aware of the drawbacks you’ll find a way around them.

    Good luck with the move – sounds fun!

    #1163825
    MissSassy
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    Yes, as mentioned the cloud will be your best friend. Utilising Google Drive, for example will make your business much smoother to run.

    #1163826
    John…WW
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    Thanks for the great ideas. We are set up now and working from home. I find I save a lot of time not having to actually travel to an office. Also just to be able to view the workload and finish earlier rather than the pressure to maintain an office space is great.

    Through a recommendation from a local computer company we set up a NAS unit and have one staff member use a remote session to access this. While this was problematic initially to set up it is working well and also means we can log in from anywhere.

    Telstra have set up a DOT virtual phone system. This allows us complete control over incoming calls (ringing simultaneously on different phones, setting business hours etc).

    Overall it has been quite an adjustment but one we are now getting used to.

    John

    #1163827
    help4bis.com
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    Technology came a long way in the yrs you been in an office :-).

    We have a “home office” or should I say an office we call home.

    – We use dropbox, which we found very hand it syncs etc. Due to our location the upload speeds suffer (1mbs) so for people to retrieve info was not viable hence we sync with Dropbox in real time.
    – Phone system, we did not want to be locked into Telstra DOT so we use 3cx VOIP, I am biased as I was involved in the early stages of this product, but it works for us. It is not for everyone…
    – ActiveCollab we use for everything else, it is an online collaboration and we use it to communicate with our customers. All coms for a customer in one place, you can buy additional plugins depending on what you want. For our type of business comms is key and we save a lot of time by NOT being on the phone. :-).

    #1163828
    John…WW
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    help4bis.com, post: 193648 wrote:
    Technology came a long way in the yrs you been in an office :-).

    – Phone system, we did not want to be locked into Telstra DOT so we use 3cx VOIP, I am biased as I was involved in the early stages of this product, but it works for us. It is not for everyone…

    I take your point re Telstra. However we found a local business representative that was fantastic. We ring him direct and things get done, even visited our office which made our little business feel very special. He was unavailable for a week and we called the general business number, terrible. When he was back was fixed in 30 minutes.Without that personal service we would not be with them either.

    #1163829
    tomwhite
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    John…WW, post: 193679 wrote:
    I take your point re Telstra. However we found a local business representative that was fantastic. We ring him direct and things get done, even visited our office which made our little business feel very special. He was unavailable for a week and we called the general business number, terrible. When he was back was fixed in 30 minutes.Without that personal service we would not be with them either.

    I’ve also had positive experiences with Telstra small business (I know I was surprised too!) I would never use them from a personal perspective, but as a small business customer you do get a rep and a much better service than you would otherwise. For example when I got setup it took 3 days longer to setup the internet because of an issue part Telstra / part us and they paid for a wireless dongle and credit to use until it was fully functioning.

    #1163830
    dangaff
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    ShadowPro, post: 190952 wrote:
    Backup to NAS and Google Drive. You can also share folders between yourselves on Google Drive and it’s very cheap – $2.99 pm for 100Gb

    I was going to start a new thread but rather than clogging it all up, it seems you’re experienced enough with Google Drive.

    I have Gmail, (plus of course other Google products, analytics, webmaster, phone applications etc).

    I’m considering moving everything into the Cloud and love Google Drive’s prices (I doubt I’ll even need more than their $2.99 plan – not for a while anyway). Google Drive is right up there on my list, except one thing.

    I don’t want to use Google Doc’s and every time I go to Google Drive to open an excel spreadsheet, it opens their Doc version.

    Now the only way I can realise to work around this (from a Laptop and [fixed] Desktop perspective) is to have the Google Drive folder on each computers desktop, thus it opens the Microsoft Excel version.

    Is there any other solution to this? I may of answered my own question.

    P.S – Sorry for the thread hijack, I’ll be reading it on with interest anyway.

    #1163831
    Luke Jones
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    • Total posts: 32
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    We use Google Apps for email, calendar etc but I’d recommend Dropbox for cloud file storage as their syncing system is seamless whereas we had errors and issues with Google Drive. Depends on how many people are going to be using the files and how important they are.

    #1163832
    williamterry
    Member
    • Total posts: 13
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    ShadowPro, post: 190952 wrote:
    I’ve worked with lots of home based businesses, and I advise them to do the same as me;

    • VOIP – cheap incoming & outgoing + take your number where ever you go.
    • Server – forget it – get everything in the cloud. I make way more money selling and servicing servers than anything else. Without exception they are costly to buy, install and run.
    • If you really need fast file sharing get a Network Attached Storage NAS device – I normally go for and sell Netgear ReadyNAS.
    • Email – cloud. I recommend (and sell so biased) Google Apps. Connect it to Outlook through sync tool and you have an Exchange server for $50 per user per year.
    • Backup to NAS and Google Drive. You can also share folders between yourselves on Google Drive and it’s very cheap – $2.99 pm for 100Gb. Netgear NAS can be backedup to ReadyNAS vault which is cloud backup service, disk to disk to cloud is about as resilient as you can get for SMBs.
    • CRM – get a cloud based one, and test a whole bunch. I went through about 7 before finding the right one.

    Google apps is a must and also a CRM like Nimble or Insightly.
    Try Pagemodo or Hootsuite for managing your social media.

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