Living Life Lightly: What is The Laptop Lifestyle and is It Right For You?
Laptops have become ubiquitous in society today. They’re simply everywhere. In every train compartment you sit in, in every café you take a sip of espresso, even in parks, folks are sitting with laptops. It’s one of those aspects of the digital revolution that folks are taking for granted but, when one stops and really examines the situation, becomes incredible.
More importantly, it’s the laptop lifestyle that has changed the game of how we do business. Here, we’ll be going over just exactly how you can benefit from these changes. In particular, we’ll be focusing on how small businesses have had to adjust and the new possibilities and technologies which have emerged to help businesses do so.
In this post:
- What is the laptop lifestyle?
- How does the laptop lifestyle help businesses?
- How do you start a laptop lifestyle?
- Tools needed to start a laptop lifestyle
What is the laptop lifestyle?
The laptop lifestyle is the offshoot of the digital revolution, allowing business owners to run a business from anywhere in the world with an internet connection.
You’ll be surprised today, but in the beginning, when laptops just came out (in 1982), folks were extremely skeptical. Those primitive laptops were so bulky, heavy, and featureless that no one would consider them as a ticket to business freedom. They were extremely basic word processors or complex calculators, neither of which one needed desperately at the time.
Jump forward twenty years, and you have a massive shift. In 2005, laptops outsold desktops for the first time ever. Another 15 years later, when Cloud services came to fully replace software and made business collaboration a breeze, the laptop lifestyle has entered its Golden Age.
Becoming increasingly popular and closely bound with the digital nomad lifestyle (with many countries going so far as to provide Digital Nomad Visas), the laptop lifestyle is basically your ticket to freedom from offices and permanent business locations. In light of the COVID pandemic, the laptop lifestyle is becoming doubly relevant, providing entrepreneurs not just with freedom but with safety.
How does the laptop lifestyle help businesses?
One of the things we touch upon in this blog a fair amount of time is flexibility. And that’s because it is genuinely important for small businesses. Especially now, when businesses have been so disrupted by the pandemic, forcing entrepreneurs to find new ways of doing things.
The worst possible situation in the midst of a pandemic is being tied to an office when it’s illegal to work in your office. Coronavirus accelerated these changes, but they were already in the works for some time. Leaving all of one’s work up to a slow desktop that couldn’t be moved away from your work desk was a pain. You couldn’t even move it to a conference room!
The laptop lifestyle is perfect for businesses that don’t even have a central location (businesses that rely on things like co-working spaces, or fully remote businesses). The laptop lifestyle is safe, convenient, and perfect not just for young business people on the go, but families and anyone who doesn’t want to be tied to their office (or to tie their employees to one). it’s perfect for businesses of all sizes, except large companies.
How do you start a laptop lifestyle?
The laptop lifestyle is a life of flexibility. Of being confronted with challenges and having the tools and abilities to be able to bend with all sorts of craziness, while also being able to use those same tools to take your game to the next level.
To start the laptop lifestyle, all you need are:
- A remote/digital business (if you’re looking for digital business ideas you can create and sell from home, look at the amazing list right here. If you have a business already, read on)
- A laptop (dah!)
- An internet connection or Wi-Fi
- Essential Cloud tools/services needed to manage your business remotely (e.g. Cloud-based business phone system for talking with clients, accounting tools, CRM, marketing, collaboration tools if you have a team, etc.)
Tools needed to start a laptop lifestyle
We mentioned essential Cloud tools and services, so let’s go into a little more detail about that. Essential tools for leading the laptop lifestyle will be based on your type of business (one set for bloggers and another for e-com, or an IT company) but all of them will need these 3 essential tools. We suggest getting both the web and mobile apps of these tools.
1) Payment/Accounting/Finance tools
If your business does any type of selling/transactions online, it’s necessary to always have your finances in order. Wherever the laptop lifestyle takes you — whether just out of state or out of the country, your payment, accounting, and finance tools need to be cloud-based and always at hand.
Pricing: If you’re a solopreneur or very small business, you can try Wave Accounting. It’s a free service that provides basic accounting.
2) Cloud-based business phone system
With a business phone number through a company like MightyCall, you can easily make calls with your phone, of course- but also with your laptop, from anywhere in the world. As an internet-connected device, making calls on it is a snap.
Likewise, for those entrepreneurs who are starting off with far-flung employees, the central web panel allows everyone to work together in one centralized page where you can keep notes on callers, keep track of who is calling, and take advantage of tons of other features, including toll-free and local numbers, visual voicemail, call recording, and unlimited extensions. All of these things can be accessed from your laptop, wherever you are- in a café, a co-working space, or any country in the world.
Pricing: MightyCall has three plans for businesses of different sizes. Plans cost from just $29.99 per month (that’s just $1 a day for professional business communication!) with free trials on all plans. There’s both a desktop client for your laptop and a fantastic Mobile App.
3) Customer relationship management (CRM) tools
If you’re an established business, you’ll need digital CRM tools to keep track of your customer contacts base and grow it. A good free service for very small businesses leading the laptop lifestyle is Hubspot Free CRM. Although this is the free version for beginner entrepreneurs, it can help you get hold of your first customers.
If you’re looking for something even simpler, try MightyCall’s built-in mini-CRM. This is a lite CRM system built into your business phone (or laptop). This is incredibly useful for remote teams, since it allows teams to have a single client contact base that automatically syncs when anyone adds information or updates information about clients.
Pricing: Professional Hubspot plans start from $45, but you can get their Free plan if you’re a small business that’s starting out. You can also opt for MightyCall’s built-in CRM which comes for free with MightyCall’s business phone system.
The laptop lifestyle is the way of the future. But truth be told, it’s not about the laptops- indeed, one day they’ll be left behind for newer technologies which we can’t even dream of. It’s about what they represent: to have the flexibility and freedom to chart your own path, instead of being tied down to older technologies. To seize your own destiny, seize the day, wake up and smell the roses- you get the idea. However, you prefer to phrase it, go and do what you were meant to do. And let the laptop lifestyle and MightyCall help you out.