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Give some of the 37 Signals (www.37signals.com) products a shot or try Knowledge Tree if you are looking for something more open source.
Best way to set up a small business
Who are you?? Go to Members page and share some info.
Do you have a Business Name?? Guessing that you have applied for a Federal I D Number (YES you will need the FID number if you hired an employee).
Do yourself a favor and save money at the same time. Just go and look
at all that google offers for free. Start by signing up for a free
gmail account and reading all the services and features provided
starting with google documents which allow you to share, edit and send
documents, forms, presentations charts and much more. All your work is
very secure and password protected and google seems to add new features
almost every few weeks. You should also look at another service they
have called gtalk again this is another free service and their are many
others that will fit exactly what you are looking for.
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VOSTM maintains your programs and data in world-class data centers. CCTV, biometrix, passwords, dead zones, key cards, etc- ultra secure and ultra reliable. Banks, Investment Firms, State & Fed Government agencies and many other organizations store their data in data centers because it offers the highest degree of security. That's why VOSTM is there too!
Shared calendar, wireless sync to iPhone, SmartPhone & Blackberry- all supported by VOSTM. Remote access is inherent in the solution. Work from anywhere you have Internet access. No VPN, No GoToMyPC, No LogMeIn, No expensive server hardware or complex networking!
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Wow - thanks for all the great information folks! Muchly appreciated. Lots for me to investigate...
Re: website....I'm still working on it(!) but will update my profile asap w/more info. Thx. :)
Re: Fed ID (and LLC) - yes, have been thru that circus....and actually answered someone else's related question about 'how to' here:
where does one get a LLC and how
Just a suggestion but a VPS (Virtual Private Server). Would be great it can be a Windows box secured in a data center. You can install some open source VPN software and once connected to the VPN they can browse mapped network drives with your documents.
If you need access to the server you can remotly connect via Remote Desktop Connection (RDP) and view the server like it was next to you.
If you move offices this server will not change so there would be no downtime. Also some VPS hosts might give you free email/web hosting and help you setup the package. I would estimte 25$/mo total.
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I've been working as an independent consultant for a couple years and have finally turned the corner on growing business enough to hire some additional folks (hoping for another 2-3 within the next several months.) Eventually I suppose we'll need an office :) but in the mean time, I already have one worker hired who will be working remotely. Wondering what online solutions are available to create the equivalent of a secure in-house intranet but via the web. I'd like documents to be super-safe/secure (and to live in one place!) but allow employees to access/update/save documents from any location. Grateful for any input...thanks!