Do you think a virtual environment is right for your business needs?
Going virtual might just be one of the best decisions you ever make for running your modern business. From a virtual office, to a team of skilled virtual workers; there are limitless options for running a cloud-based business when you leverage the latest and greatest technology to your advantage.
Cost savings are often the biggest motivator for entrepreneurs looking to shift to a virtual business environment. However, it’s important to consider the global mobility you’ll be afforded too, when you can run your business from anywhere using a smart device or laptop.
Even people running a brick-and-mortar can use the following advice to shift certain operations into a virtual environment, such as a web store or outsourcing tasks to virtual workers.
Rent a Virtual Office
A virtual office is the perfect way to save on the expense of leasing, while giving your business a legitimate address in a professional office building. You can register your business under the address given to you by your provider, which can include prestigious office spaces in your choice of the world’s highest-class business districts such as Bay Street in downtown Toronto, or Canary Wharf in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets (though address selection varies by the provider you choose).
Smaller providers usually just provide an office address, use of furnished office facilities when you need them, Virtual Services, and access to virtual phone numbers. But, larger virtual brands can offer any virtual service you need, including access to virtual assistants and call center services. Do your research before deciding on an office location, as you will find seedy locations and/or addresses that house businesses you don’t want clients associating with your brand.
Hire Virtual Staff
Virtual staff can be independent, found on Internet classified and specialized job forums. Virtual office service providers can also set you up with virtual workers, taking care of the sourcing, training, and firing process so you don’t have to. As mentioned, some providers only offer reception and message-taking services, while others can offer virtual staff ranging from basic web admin services, right on up to accounting, content creation, marketing, video editing, social media, and transcription services.
Obviously, going the full service route can be more expensive money-wise, but the time saved in hiring and managing your workers is also something to be considered if you don’t have time to spare for this.
Tips for hiring and managing virtual workers
- Be specific about the type of work you’ll need done and the level of experience you’re willing to settle on in your job postings.
- Do not settle for email conversations with workers, as you’ll want to make sure they can communicate with you and understand your native language (Skype or your preferred conferencing software is best).
- Have the worker demonstrate their abilities with small, less important projects, before allowing them to do anything that might have a disastrous impact on the business.
- Create the expectation of daily followups and make sure employees meet that expectation, so you always know you’re both on the same page.
- From the beginning, write down your process for delegating tasks to your virtual employees, and make sure to refine it continuously as you learn what works and what does not.
Get Your Tech Game Nailed Down
When you’re running your business in the cloud, it’s important to use a cloud computing service with bulletproof secure servers that are future proof and provide fast transfers, networking flexibility, cross-cloud API, and app integration and management. Regardless what level of business you’re at now, you need to settle in with a cloud provider who can offer the flexibility needed for continuous growth.
Same goes with regard to how you do business. If your business doesn’t currently have a website, you’d better learn a thing or two about creating a website, managing online sales, and promoting your business via social media apps on your devices. WordPress is a go-to for many looking for a free way to start a blog or online store, while Shopify and the emerging SquareSpace make it easier than ever to set up an online store lightning fast.
Data Security Can’t be an Afterthought
There are so many trusted providers out there that it’s hard not to find great security software for all your business computers and devices. Viruses are an ever present threat, especially with many unscrupulous types utilizing ransomware to hijack company data in order to extort money from innocent online entrepreneurs. Just one data breach can can ruin relationships with customers and destroy your good name.
No solution is 100% safe, but don’t think you can get by running a free scan every now and be protected. In general, both free and paid programs have the ability to protect users fairly equally, but as detailed from this reputable source, often freeware isn’t as good at detecting the most recently emerging threats, nor does it offer phone support when problems emerge — and premium software is usually less than $100 a year to protect multiple devices — so why take the chance?
Virtual is the future of doing business!
What was once considered a buzzword is now the new reality of how business is done. As technology improves, businesses across all industries will be able to get more done using the cloud and require less physical resources to accomplish all the tasks required to run a successful company.
Are you ready to take your business to the next level?