Eight Tangible Business Tools for Your Intangible Product or Business
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If you sell information, your product is intangible. Some consider services, such as consultation or web design, to be intangible products. Do you sell domain names or web hosting services? Your product is intangible.
Just because your product is intangible, this in no way means you do not have a need for tangible business tools to be a success. Here are eight of the most common tools your business may need.
1. Computer – You must have a way to manage your business website, receive and send email, and chat with potential clients online. Mobility has become more important since the invention of personal computers and the internet, so instead of having a desktop computer, consider a laptop or tablet. And make sure you protect your computer with a security software solution like Norton.
2. Telephone – You must have a way to talk on the telephone with your customers and venders. Similar to computers, mobility is important for telephone communications. Instead of investing in a home phone, consider a cellphone. You do not have to pay $1000 for a cellphone, but you want a good “smart phone.”
3. Printer/Fax Machine – You will need to print, copy, and scan documents for your business. You will also need a way to send and receive faxes. This can be covered with one device. A good printer should be able to print, copy, scan, and serve as a fax machine. With newer printers, you can even email documents to your printer for printing. This may sound expensive, but surprisingly, it is not. You can get a good printer for around $100 or less.
4. File Cabinet – This may sound incredibly old fashioned, but it is more necessary than you might imagine. It is true that you can store your documents online through a variety of services. You can also store things on your own computer or tablet and flash drives. However, systems can – and do – fail, and this could result in a loss of everything you have stored in that system. Make a habit of printing hard copies of important documents and putting them into a fireproof filing cabinet.
5. Dash Cam – What? Let’s face it: your car is an important part of your business. But of course you can’t write off your car as a business expense (many have tried and failed). But a dash cam is important in protecting your overall security (and your business’ security). Make sure you get the best dash cam for the money.
6. General Office Supplies – You may not need an abundance of office supplies, but you need some basics. Pencils, pens, a stapler, notepads, file folders, and copy paper are essential. You may also want stationary, business cards, highlighters, rubber bands, or paperclips. Each business has different office supply needs, but most need the basics.
7. Suitable Office or Work Area – Your business may be intangible, or even mobile, but you still need a tangible place where you can work. This could be an actual office in a commercial building, a home office, or even a designated area within your home. The area should be quiet and devoid of any distractions.
8. Dependable Vehicle – If your business requires you to travel locally or long distances, you need a good, dependable vehicle. Do not drive up to a client’s home or place of business in an old clunker! If you cannot buy a vehicle, rent one. If you cannot rent one, borrow one. If all else fails, take a cab.
Intangible products are becoming more popular and more expensive as technology advances. While owners of such businesses may hope or think the whole operation can be intangible, they quickly learn that this isn’t possible if you are serious about succeeding in the field you have chosen.