Create a virtual office and save business overheads
Are you starting or expanding your business but have a tight budget? Building a virtual office might be a great solution for you. With increased bandwidth, range of Web 2.0 services, and easy access to internet, many small and medium sized businesses are finding it lucrative to operate virtually. Today, almost the entire range of business functions could be managed online through subscription based services that SMBs can easily utilize.
Is your business model suitable for a virtual office?
Whether you run a carpet cleaning company or own a modest web development firm, you can take advantage of virtual office. A virtual office allows you to operate professionally with minimum investment on assets. It gives you the flexibility to work from anywhere, offer services to your clients and employees that might be beyond your scope, and get a lot of other services on pay-per-use basis or even for free if your need is small. This helps you in reducing your overheads and operational risks.
Here are some of the virtual office tips that you can employ in your own organization starting today:
Use a virtual phone system to handle calls
The way you handle a business call can make or break that deal. Not only you cannot afford to miss calls but also you need a system where you can easily transfer calls within employees, check and reply to your voice mails from anywhere. When hiring a full-time resource to handle calls seems expensive, you can take advantage of live answering service providers who can answer calls on your behalf. With this, you can ensure that all your calls get answered or forwarded the way you want them to. What’s more – there are great packages where you can get a virtual receptionist, toll free number, unified communication (email, voice, fax), and call routing – all at a fraction of a cost and on as-needed basis. Even if you have the free time to handle all your phone calls, a little investment in these services can go a long way in enhancing your corporate image and bringing in even more business.
Create a virtual team of assistants and other technical professionals
A virtual office gives you the flexibility to grow your team without investing in infrastructure. You can add members from your locality or from anywhere in the world and take advantage of their services as and when required. No need to split your brains on all customer centric and miscellaneous office tasks. You can get professionals like office administrators, designers, writers, data entry agents, office assistants, IT executives, accountants, legal advisors, website developers, marketing assistants, and more. Many virtual assistant companies offer offsite staffing to take care of basic back office services.
Set up online payroll for your staff
Generating payroll at the end of each month is a daunting task for small businesses. Calculating income, holidays, taxes, special allowances, perks and creating pay checks for all the employees – all require dedicated effort and time. What if you find an easy and automated solution to do it online? With online payroll solutions, all you need to do is enter all the salary details once and then at the end of each month the process will happen on its own with just a few clicks from you. Paychex is a known company in virtual payroll processing.
Set up a virtual office mailing address
Most small businesses and start-ups do not have the luxury of lavish office space to boast of. When your clients want to learn more about your physical address they should feel that you are a professional and a real organization. Fortunately, you don’t need to make a huge investment in renting an office; you can convince your clients by getting a virtual mailing address anywhere in the U.S. and Europe. Now you can even think about having office branches in different locations! All your mails will be forwarded to you and you can use fully-equipped business lounges at all those places to meet your clients. You can easily find office locations that offers shared office spaces and mailing addresses in your city.
Develop a virtual office space for employee collaboration
Having a virtual office might make it a bit difficult for employees to meet and collaborate – but now you can have a virtual office space too. You can utilize websites like HyperOffice, WebOffice, CampFireNow for interoffice communication needs and online collaboration that will help you manage your business on the web at an integrated, centralized place, while keeping everyone connected. You can share documents, calendars, data, memos, etc; have online meetings; collaborate messages; and work together in real-time. Using free Google online spreadsheets and document applications your team-members can access the files from any location and can edit them as per their user rights.
Set up virtual meetings using online meeting applications
Create a state-of-the-art virtual conference room for free! You can conduct online webinars for internal and external audience using services provided by websites like GoToMeeting, MeetingSense and Webex. All you need to do is upload the list of people you want to invite and rest all happens as you plan – the reminders are sent prior to the webinars, satisfaction is rated, and analysis is done. The session can be extremely interactive with tools like voting and live chat.
Virtual technologies give you the power that you might not have if you venture into the business world all on your own. Virtualize portions of your business today and see the advantages yourself. You might end up having a totally virtual setup where everything will get done online – more efficiently and at a nominal cost so that you can focus on what matters the most – your business.