Small Business going Virtual
So what does it mean to go virtual? Many are still in the dark when it comes to virtualizing their businesses.
Going virtual actually means that you do not require a physical office space anymore and that you alternatively utilize virtual employees, meaning contractors which specialize in assisting business owners with various task.
Technology makes it possible, the word is connected, information can be transferred around the globe within seconds, I can hold a meeting via video conferencing with Japan and do not have to leave the comfort of my house or local office.
I can use shared office space, have a professional corporate identity with a receptionist I do not have to pay, have a live phone answering service plugged in and just use the private office space and conference rooms as I need them, all of that for a fraction of the price normally to be paid for a regular office setup.
This particularely applies to the initial cost of setting up a traditional office space, the cost for furniture, phone system, reception area and related employees are significant. The moneys saved here can be spend for marketing efforts, directly related to profits.
Thinking about going virtual? I like to encourage you to do so, because it makes sense. You do not need your own office space and if so, choose a turnkey solution within a business center.
You wont need to hire employees, buy furniture and IT equipment, no need for appliances, maintenance, repairs or any other cost extensive startup acquisition.
All you need is an idea of what you require and then pick from the different plans of the business center and just pay for exactly what you need.
The virtual concept is now wildly accepted, more and more larger corporations have their staff work from home over secure servers, the amount of money saved by not having to occupy and pay for Real Estate is tremendous.
So as a small business or a startup company what is better than saving money, but at the same time have a superior and more professional setup done within less than 24 hours and on a nation wide or even global level.
Grow your company at you convenience with the peace in mind that you can eradicate your overhead cost to almost zip.
Do not know how to get started? Here are some ideas for your business to go virtual!
Determine what kind of setup you need
- Do you need a commercial business address?
- Do you want or need a representative office?
- Do you want someone to screen your calls?
- Do you need to meet clients privately?
- Do you require meeting rooms or rooms for training?
- Do you need to outsource certain task and workload?
Does you business require training and if so can it be done via online meeting?
Create a functional home office (most of us have a least a computer and printer at home)
Laptop or desktop computer
All in one printer capable of printing, scanning and faxing
Isolated area were you can work undisturbed
Office desk, chair and office related equipment
Word processing software
Pdf creator to digitalize your files
Shared file space like google drive, dropbox or box, allowing you to backup or share important documents
A fast and stable internet connection, at least 5Gbs
For online meetings and video conferencing use skype or google talk, both are free and allow multiple participants.
For training and seminars use goto meeting and related citrix software
Manage your time and your business properly through outsourcing
- Decide on task that you want to outsource. E.g. accounting, administrative, legal, marketing, etc.
- Hire a Virtual Assistant, this is a great because they work as contractors, no hassle with payroll or employee related taxes. Only use and pay them for exactly the time you use them. Get advice from your business center, they are likely have staff for your task on side or can recommend someone to you.
Keep everything and everybody connected
- Management and supervision is still your duty
- Establish goals and task which need to be completed, set due dates
- Have video meetings with your virtual staff often, it is important to establish trust and rapport
- Establish a network of reliable contractors for any possible task you want to delegate
- Digitalize documents, receipts, marketing material and organize it on your computer, make sure you backup often. Going paperless from the beginning helps you to stay organized; you will never replace an important file.
- Bank electronically, avoid checks. It is easier to track income and expenses that way, many banks allow to sync with QuickBooks, you will save lot of time when it comes to preparing taxes. Collect statements and receipts electronically, store safely.
Summarizing the going virtual for small businesses article, it is important that you or a virtual office manager stay on top of your virtual office setup.
Planning and staying organized is a mayor key to success, no matter how you manage your business.
Virtualization if setup correctly can benefit you tremendously in reference to time savings, overhead cost and employment related cost. It also gives you much more control and supervisor abilities.
At Small Business Consulting Group, we encourage the setup of virtual businesses; contact us for any questions or concerns you might have, we are happy to help.