Mobile working for start-ups
We've put together a short checklist to demonstrate how mobile working can keep costs down, particularly in the preparation and set-up phases, without sacrificing efficient communication:
Wait as long as you can before renting an office space. As long as you don't need a representative premises, you should try to work from home and hold any unavoidable meetings – if they can't take place in your own space – in quiet cafés or affordable temporary office spaces (e.g. The Hub Zürich). Shared office arrangements allow you to rent a desk space for a matter of hours or days without having to commit long-term. There are also charitable foundations or organisations that provide office spaces for start-ups at very affordable rates.
With a 'bring your own device' strategy, you not only avoid having to buy laptops, tablets, etc. but you also allow your workers to use their own preferred device. To make this work, however, you'll need a consistent strategy for using the cloud, especially in terms of the necessary software. To make the most of mobile working, staff will need decent laptops and have to be prepared to adhere to the company's IT and security standards.
Cloud-based solutions are available nowadays for all sorts of applications, starting with cloud storage and web-based CRM systems to cloud-based Office solutions (e.g. Office 365). Whatever the application, there are entry-level packages available that are very cost-effective – if not completely free – and offer all you need for setting up a business.
A range of communication options are at hand when you don't have a fixed location for your business or when staff are working from different places. It's important to make sure that everyone in the team is reachable via chat so that any issues that arise can be dealt with straight away.
- You can use the phone, chat, screen share with Skype, Lync or other similar tools where WiFi or mobile hotspots are available.
- Open source tools are now also an option for screen sharing.
- A business landline and mobile phones can be be linked up through the same provider so that team members can chat between landline and mobile free of charge, while any clients that call will only ever see the company's official telephone number.
For all the possibilities mobile working offers, a start-up team should always remember that they need to grow together not just professionally but also socially. To really bind a team together and encourage loyalty, team spirit and motivation, personal contact is still an absolute necessity in addition to modern communication technology. It's the only way to ensure the development of a really strong team.