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10. Office and Financial Software. Launching Your Virtual Architecture Practice

Updated: Dec 4, 2020

Today we're going to talk about office and financial systems as well as storage and file sharing systems. When I talk about office and financial systems, I bet you already have all this software in your business. It's just the same software but maybe you have to modify it if it's on a desktop. The main thing is that you need to get it to become cloud based or server based so that you have access to all the software when you are mobile or if others, like your accountant need access. It’s the software you need to run your business includes your accounting systems, your marketing, your CRM, E signatures, how you write letters, how you write contracts, and how you save your contact information.

It's possible to go ahead and outsource things like accounting and marketing. I do outsource both of those and the files are accessible in the cloud. Evaluate them and how you're going to utilize them remotely.

The next type of software we're going to talk about are file sharing and storage. It is vital that you have multiple backups for storage and for your file sharing in your business. File sharing is how you're going to get those files accessible to your remote workers. For example, I use Sharefile which is a Citrix branded product and I use other Citrix products so that's part of my bundle. It allows us to keep all our files on the cloud and every remote worker has access to the files for their project(s) and can upload updates.

We also utilize cloud-based systems for our CAD/BIM and almost all of the major software packages for CAD out there have some sort of cloud-based system so that workers can “remote in” and access those files.

Storage is vital and you need to have multiple ways to back up your systems because if a lot of your work is carried around on laptop, it can be lost. So, I do have a lot of files on my laptop, but I have a big local area storage that is basically a big giant hard drive in the house for storing files. Next, I have an automatic backup online system that remotes into my computer and backs up all my files [to a cloud storage]. It’s automatic, so I don't even have to remember to back them up. Then, I have a 3rd backup which is a process of manually putting files up on Sharefile every Friday [or more often]. It’s like our religion to make sure that we get those files [backed up to Sharefile] so that we never lose more than a few days of work if someone loses a laptop or their main computer that they work from.

That's a video for today. If you want to contact me or have any questions, please go ahead and email and I will try to get back to you. There's a lot of packages out there that I didn't cover and since this isn't an AIA session, I can actually tell you the brands of some of the software that I've been using or that others have told me that they've been very happy using.

Key terms: work from home, WFH, remote working, virtual office, virtual firm, architecture firm, architect office, architect practice, architectural practice.



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