Running a startup without an office space is not something that is very common here in Nigeria. Most startups either run in a co-working space area (SEE a list of co-working spaces in Lagos we complied for startup, small businesses or freelancers in Nigeria), or convert a residential space to an office space or some even run a virtual office. All of these are good options for startups to consider when trying to save operational cost.
Much more than all these available options, it is even possible to run your startup business with just a mobile device or a personal computer.
With the emergence of internet and all kinds of new technology and apps, running a more flexible business in this digital age is becoming possible. This implies that teams in a startup can work remotely while delivering on tasks assigned to them.
Automattic, the sister company of the popular WordPress site builder, runs with a team that works remotely. Its success is a pointer to the possibility of running a business without an office space.
To setup your startup business in Nigeria, without an office space, you should consider the following…
- Have a registered domain website with email addresses for every member of your team. With the website members of the public can get to know about the startup and get updates about the startup, while the custom email addresses can be used by staff to communicate with each other (or contact partners or prospect customers)
- Creating and sending documents is going to be huge part of what every team member would be doing. So create and properly label folders in Google Drive or Dropbox (for business). These are two of the best file management tools that you can use to store and share important files.
- Set goals with deadlines using Google calendar which should be synced with the email address of everyone in the team. You can set the calendar to send reminders as emails to each member for the goals set for them. The Google calendar can also be used to set date for important meetings, meetups or presentations that every member of the team has to work towards. Reminders about this can also be set to be sent via email prior to the due date.
- Social media is an integral part of any business that wants to stay afloat in this digital age. You can make use of Hootsuite to manage all social media related tasks in one place and have your team members contribute or assign different task to each member of the team through it.
- Keeping tabs on the income of the startup is very important. You can make use of Invoice Home to manage all invoices that you send out for rendering a service or sales of products. With this you are able to keep tab on invoices that have been paid or not. [ SEE the list of free accounting tools that we compiled for startups and small businesses in Nigeria. ]
- What is a business without customer, really? The way a customer is treated would determine how long the business will survive. Hence the need to have a good customer relationship management system in place. You can use Hubspot CRM or Zoho CRM which are free. There a number of other free customer relationship management tools that you can use to be more efficient in handling your different customers.
You can also check out the following tools that you can use to setup your startup business in Nigeria without an office space:
- com ,
- Skype for Business (for meetings with staff),
- Evernote (the premium version for working effectively on a project as a team),
- VoguePay, PayStack or Izettle (for receivinf payment from clients anytime),
- Receipt Banks (for keeping track of all receipts issued).
However, you can sign up with a co-working space area that has facilities for meetings so you can use it if you need to have a physical meeting with clients or prospect clients.
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