For small businesses, without big budgets, going remote can seem like a daunting task. But there are steps that you can take to easily go remote in a cost-effective way.

Do not fret; here are seven tips to help you make the transition seamlessly:

1. Move your telephony to the cloud

IP, cloud-based phone solutions are substantially cheaper than PBX hardware solutions. They are flexible enough to let you redirect your calls easily and enable your employees to set up at home with just a handset and an internet connection. They're very quick to sign up and set up too.

2. Sign up for productivity

GSuite, Google's office productivity suite, is cloud-based and tailored to meet the needs of small businesses — handling everything from email, calendaring and video conferencing to documents and spreadsheets.

Like your personal Gmail, GSuite is available as long as you are online, and it works in a browser window. You can use GSuite free with your personal Gmail address.

Just add your work email account details to your Gmail and you'll be able to send and receive work email via Gmail — giving you a free contingency plan if you don't want to sign up for the paid version.

3. Stay connected

Mobile connectivity is proving to be a lifesaver for many businesses during load shedding, and it helps to make remote working easier for employees too, who don't have fibre or ADSL lines. If you're worried about managing costs, buy each employee a dongle and a data SIM for their work use.

4. Get marketing

if you haven't already, sign up for your free business listing on Google My Business. This will ensure you show up in Google Maps and Search when people search for a business like yours. Google My Business also offers free websites; now is a good time to get yours set up.

5. Try out e-commerce

Google My Business listings on Maps let you load special offers, take online orders and the like. Setting up a Facebook page or a Whatsapp business account will likewise let your customers engage with you digitally. This will give you new, online routes to market at a time when everyone is being encouraged to stay home.

6. Take your PCs mobile

Laptop computers are now the equivalent of desktops when it comes to processing power, hard drive sizing and prices. Consider investing in laptops for employees because this gives you — and them — flexibility and the freedom to work whenever and wherever you and they are.

7. Bank that power

Load shedding is a constant possibility, so keep your laptops and mobiles charged and look at getting power banks that can keep a laptop powered for several hours. Power banks for mobile phones are very affordable and readily available too.

Moving your office anywhere isn't the almost impossible task it seems, thanks to modern — and often free — technology solutions. If you get stuck, turn to the Internet.

There's a tutorial available on just about everything these days and social networks, like Facebook, provide access to lots of other people who have faced the same challenges and are happy to share how they addressed them. 

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