tech essentials

Technology for the Traveling Professional

technology for the traveling professionalEmployees are much more on-the-go these day, whether it’s working out in the field, working from home, or working away on a business trip. Nonetheless, you and your employees definitely need technology, or access to technology, in order to do the job. This doesn’t necessarily mean a mobile phone or a laptop (although those do not hurt at all), but the technology that’s not so obviously a requirement. Here are a few examples, and why it’s a good idea to get these implemented into your small business.

Remote Access

This one is particularly important for employees that don’t work entirely from their homes. Workers need a way to drop into the office remotely, and one way to provide that is with remote access to the phone system. With remote access, employees can check the office phone for any voicemail messages, whether it is after hours or while away on a business trip.

Call Forwarding

Remote access can also be enhanced with phone system features like call forwarding (to a cell phone or even a home phone) or voicemail to email. Call forwarding will automatically direct a call from the office phone to the mobile phone, so you’re always within reach to address any client or customer needs. You can also have voicemails forwarded with a voicemail to email feature. This transcribes any voicemails into email, and then sends them to your inbox. It’s certainly a lot easier than listening to a message a few times just to get the name and number.


Tablets like the iPad or the Samsung Galaxy are much more portable than a laptop. They are perfect for checking work email, looking at trip itineraries, or passing the time in the taxi on the way to the hotel. They’re also a lot less bulky than laptops, so using all of those fun apps on the airplane won’t take up the entire fold-out tray. Granted, tablets aren’t quite yet content creation devices, so they’re not necessarily the best at getting work done. But, tablets are perfect for traveling professionals for those on-the-go purposes.

A Storage Device

Although cloud-based storage is much more preferable, when you’re traveling on business, sometimes it’s necessary to have a flash drive or an external hard drive for the trip. Technology, unfortunately, doesn’t always work. Internet may be out or computer network won’t let you in. Or, there’s the off-chance that you forgot the laptop charger at home. Bringing a backup of those important files with you can save you from looking foolish to the potential client, or creating that presentation just an hour or two before you’re supposed to present.  Whatever the case, having a backup of your files may just save the day.

Take Away

With more and more people traveling on business or working away from the office, technology can make it easier to check back in when necessary. Your employees can feel more connected to what’s going on and can remain in contact with co-workers on projects and sales statuses. Of course, don’t forget the laptop and mobile phone.

A Few Places to Get Your Tech Essentials (For Less!)

tech essentialsSure, your business may not necessarily need tablets or the latest mobile phone models to operate. But, there are some technologies that are essential to running your business. You probably need at least one computer or laptop, a phone system, and a quality web presence. All that costs money to purchase and to maintain, but you couldn’t possibly run your business without them. Fortunately, there are a few places to go where you can get your business tech essentials for less than what you’d normally have to pay if you went to a retailer. Here are a few of those wonderful places of savings:

Newegg is an electronics discount website with everything from computer hardware to cameras to home theater equipment. If you are okay with a refurbished laptop or desktop, than this is the place to go. The great thing about Newegg is that many of the products come with user reviews, so you’re still able to compare and to evaluate products without having to go to a store. Newegg also has tons of daily deals and additional promotions so going on, so you’re sure to find a bargain on this site. It’s also a little more reliable than going through an online wanted ads site like Craigslist. A site very similar to Newegg is

Daily Deal Sites

There are plenty of them out there that cater specifically to small businesses, such as RapidBuyr or OfficeArrow. The deals include much more than tech products, so you’ll be able to find discounts on everything else a small business might need, from virtual assistant services to a social media book to accounting services. These sites are free to sign up for, and OfficeArrow offers a lot more than daily deals. They also have articles and templates on every business topic and task imaginable.

Service Providers

If you already have a service provider in place, say for data storage or your phone system, you may be able to find a discount if you simply ask. Some providers have specials for startups and small businesses. You also may be able to save money if you use one provider for a variety of different services. In other words, bundle services. For example, 37Signals offers four web-based apps for small businesses: Highrise (customer relation management), Campfire (group chat), Backpack (internal communications), and Basecamp (project management). To get all four through 37signals only costs $99 a month, when getting all four through four separate providers could cost double that. If you don’t have any service providers in place yet, make sure to ask how the company can help you.

As a new business, you certainly aren’t in a place to be settling on any price. It’s in your best interest to find the best prices, since money saved means money that you can invest in other aspects of your business, such as marketing or hiring staff. You’re already going to have to work for the money, so let the money do some work for you by taking a look at ways to get your tech essentials for less.