A woman wearing an over-the-ear headset sits at a table in front of an open laptop and speaks into the headset's mouthpiece. The laptop screen is split into nine boxes, each of which shows a different person. In the background, out of focus, can be seen the woman's home, with a window seat beneath a window and a dog curled up on a chair.
There are many cloud-based tools for remote communication, including VoIP systems and videoconferencing software. — Getty Images/Alistair Berg

Technology enables entrepreneurs to oversee day-to-day operations and communicate from anywhere with an internet connection. Indeed, “93% of small businesses are using at least one technology platform,” according to the Chamber Technology Engagement Center (C_TEC). With cloud computing, you don’t have to wait until you get back to the office to handle an issue or double-check the numbers. Instead, you can access business-critical information on the spot.

In short, cloud-based tools support data-driven decisions, regardless of your location. If you’re ready to free yourself from your desk, check out seven types of technology that let you run your business from anywhere.

Electronic signature and proposal software

Waiting for a signature or passing paper copies back and forth to review changes isn’t efficient or helpful to business owners wanting to run their companies remotely. With e-signature and contract software, you can collaborate on documents and sign securely online. Online proposal and signature solutions include PandaDoc, DocuSign, and HelloSign.

Project management platform

Just because you’re not in the office doesn’t mean you’re out of the loop. Use project management software to supervise important projects and collaborate with your team. Popular options include Trello, Asana, and Basecamp.

From your mobile device, you can:

  • Assign tasks.
  • Review progress.
  • Collaborate in real-time.
  • Manage multiple projects.
  • Share content, like documents and videos.

[Read more: 11 Entrepreneurs Reveal the Tech Tools They Can't Live Without]

Financial software

According to QuickBooks, “nearly three in four small business owners (73%) use tools to manage their cash flow.” Moreover, expense tracking, invoicing, and inventory are the “top three financial processes small business owners wish they’d invested in sooner.” You can create an expense report and send invoices without being in the office. Paid and free accounting tools include Wave, QuickBooks, and Xero.

With e-signature and contract software, you can collaborate on documents and sign securely online.

Technology for voice and video communications

Customers, vendors, and employees expect business leaders to be responsive and accessible. However, traditional business phone systems don’t support how people communicate today. Internet-based voice, video, and messaging platforms keep you connected regardless of location.

Cloud-based software for communication includes:

  • Voice over internet protocol (VoIP): Use VoIP technology to add a second line to your cell phone or make calls from your computer. Google Voice and Grasshopper provide virtual small business phone systems.
  • Unified communications (UC): This souped-up VoIP phone system puts multiple communication methods in one tool, such as virtual faxing, voice and video calling, document sharing, and more. RingCentral, Ooma, and Nextiva are unified communications tools.
  • Videoconferencing: Stand-alone meeting tools support one-on-one and group meetings from anywhere with an internet connection. Zoom and Google Meet are among the dozens of tools available.

[Read more: What Is Unified Communication?]

Payment processing service

With cloud payment technologies, you can make a sale and accept payments at your client’s location. These tools also provide online account management. You can view payment details and customer records if your customer calls with a transaction concern. The flexibility of online access helps you respond quickly and automate manual data entry processes.

Point-of-sale (POS) software, payment gateways, and credit card processors provide mobile and desktop applications. C_TEC reported that 36% of small business owners use POS software like Square, Toast, and Clover. Alternatively, you can use an online payment processor like PayPal or Venmo.

Customer relationship management (CRM)

Cloud-based CRMs let you manage your lead and customer accounts from anywhere. Need to work on your vacation or track a VIP while at a conference? A CRM can help. Also, many solutions integrate with other business tools, giving a 360-degree view of your relationship, including historical and real-time interactions.

CRM options for small businesses include:

  • Salesforce.
  • Freshsales.
  • Zendesk.
  • HubSpot.
  • Zoho CRM.

[Read more: Everything You Need to Know About CRM Software for Managing Customers and Sales]

Human resources (HR) technology

Platforms like Gusto or Workful put your HR processes in the cloud, allowing you to authorize time-off requests or approve payroll from your smartphone. Some solutions integrate with accounting tools, have time-tracking capabilities, and provide employee portals. You can oversee most aspects of your workforce when and how you want.

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

Follow us on Instagram for more expert tips & business owners’ stories.

Applications are open for the CO—100! Now is your chance to join an exclusive group of outstanding small businesses. Share your story with us — apply today.

CO—is committed to helping you start, run and grow your small business. Learn more about the benefits of small business membership in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, here.

Brought to you by
Dedicated to turning our advantage into yours.
Unmatched 5G network : Get work done where your business happens with the speed, bandwidth, and reliability your business needs.
Learn More

Get recognized. Get rewarded. Get $25K.

Is your small business one of the best in America? Apply for our premier awards program for small businesses, the CO—100, today to get recognized and rewarded. One hundred businesses will be honored and one business will be awarded $25,000.