The technological revolution is changing the dynamics of markets and the way people live. From purchasing clothes, footing utility bills, to kicking off a new venture – everything happens online. Digital tools let you create business profiles in a matter of minutes without costing a single penny. Similarly, websites work like virtual shops where buyers come for shopping.
Are you wondering about the working space and employees? People usually rent up office space for their eCommerce forum, but it does nothing except for piling up to the expenses. Therefore, with a virtual business, consider opting for a virtual office. It uses a suite of communication tools, applications, and software to recreate the traditional office setting while projecting a professional business image.
The business exists online, allowing you to conduct operations anywhere – on the beach or at home. Alongside freedom and flexibility, you will be working with a remote workforce, allowing you to hire global professionals. Thus, many companies are switching to virtual offices as it lets them cut corners on the rent expense.
Are you thinking of opening a virtual office in Hong Kong, UAE, Singapore, or any part of the world? If yes, you are in the right place. Here we are unfolding five easy steps to open a virtual office in less than an hour.
1. Establish a Strategy
Although you are working virtually from home, it doesn't change the practices or norms. You still have to develop a business plan to map out your strategy and discover your brand needs. Identify whether you will be working with virtual assistants, or there is a need for human labor. Similarly, determine routine data storage needs and consider whether cloud storage would be a good option. Once you have a competent strategy, you can easily switch to virtual offices to make some noise in the digital world.
2. Secure the Essential Equipment
When it comes to recreating an office environment, all employees will need a desktop or laptop to support their success. It gives them consistent access to software, business information, customer data, and other files. Likewise, employees have to make sure laptops have built-in cameras or install a webcam to execute every part of business activity.
Alongside this, mobile devices also rank as essential equipment for remote employees. It keeps them connected in settings where the laptop seems impractical. Moreover, equip yourself with keyboards, a mouse, and a multi-function printer. As work is solely dependent on software, hire developers to fix bugs, improve security, and bring more features to the programs. After all, efficient tools always result in high productivity levels.
3. Choose Communication & Collaboration Tools
As an owner, you have to expose employees to smart collaboration and communication tools to optimize workflow. Firstly, begin with communication tools as it allows you to keep pace with the demands of the job. Include an email provider to make formal announcements and use instant messaging for last-minute calls or changes.
Next up, you have to start exploring collaboration tools to make room for virtual teamwork. Check out Slack – the messaging app for teams or Asana – the project tracking tool. Besides, if you want to keep track of work progress, bring all employees on Workflow Max. It is an all-in-one job management tool that sets deadlines, generates invoices, and processes payments.
As you would also be conducting meetings online, you have to pick a tool-free from disruptions—also, the one which can accommodate a large pool of audience. Google Meet and Skype for business are two popular names when talking about video conferencing tools. Before going virtual, keep a 'trial and error week' to see which tools and forums work the best.
4. Obtain a Virtual Business Address & Contact
With everything happening online, you might wonder about your business address and contact. Surprisingly, you have the option to invest in a virtual phone system. It might sound unrealistic but works like any other conventional phone system. You have to pick a business number, record a greeting message, add employees, and start entertaining customers.
Are you thinking about how it works? The virtual system redirects and routes call to IP addresses. For instance, if you are using a smartphone, you would receive a call from a number, but through your IP address. After this, you still need a professional address to complete your contact information. Look for service providers to get a virtual address, allowing you to check mail and take advantage of pick up hours.
5. Organize Yourself
Virtual offices are flexible – you don't have to wake up early in the morning, get dressed, and drive miles. However, it doesn't mean you can compromise on self-discipline and dignity. You have to focus on time-management to close doors for missed deadlines or skipped appointments. Therefore, stick to the 9-5 office timings and utilize tech-savvy tools to mark attendance.
Likewise, use apps for organizing and assigning tasks in the office. Ask your developers to devise a portal where every employee gets his/her share of functions as soon as they log in. Above all, stay accessible to your clients and try bridging any communication barriers. Invest in customer relationship management software and offer a personalized experience through digital marketing.
The concept of virtual offices is changing the landscape of businesses. Some people believe it is at the expense of social relationships and face-to-face communications, but the 21st century makes everything possible. It is only a matter of picking the right tech tools and utilizing them correctly. Alongside fostering productivity, it can help you open a virtual office within an hour.