Are you thinking of building a new start up, looking to expand, or just looking to reduce cost in your current business? There a number of overhead costs to take into consideration but as new technology becomes available so do your options in keeping business costs to a minimum. Here is a demonstration of ways in which you can avoid tremendous expenditure and at the same time allow you to focus on important areas of your business.
A virtual office is an office that has no practical existence. Virtual offices have no dedicated workspace like a traditional office. Companies which provide virtual office services, provide you all the facilities which make up an office. The virtual office is one, or one of many hubs for your customers/clients to connect to you and your business. Having a virtual office can save you from the complications of having an actual office, still give your company a local professional look and feel but allow you to focus on some more important areas of your business. A virtual office can be set-up almost anywhere and will incur far lower costs and shorter contracts. Cost savings come from the rent/price of the office building, the costs to maintain and run the office like electricity bills and the expenses of stationery and a number of other miscellaneous items required to run an office. If you wish to have a physical presence in a city or a number of cities this expense can be astronomical, a virtual office can give you an introduction into whether or not you wish to open shop in a particular City or Country at minimal risk/cost.
Employees are found to be happier than 9-5 office workers and dedicated when they work in a virtual environment. They can work easily from their home or any location worldwide if its practical to do so. They are also found to be more productive and have a lower turnover rate. You also do not have to hire people on constant pay-role. You can have the work done by freelancers at comparatively lower rates and you will only have to pay them for the work done. There is no need to hire a person for a full time job and give them heavy salary and other benefits. Using platforms such as Upwork.com, Toptal.com and Peopleperhour.com can introduce you to professionals to assist you with short or long term business tasks from Tech Talent through to Virtual Assistants.
No Hardware Outlay
Previously starting a business needed a large amount of investment in hardware including the furniture, computers, fixed and mobile phones amongst other necessary items to make an office look and operate properly. If you opt for a virtual office instead of a traditional office all this money can be used for some better purpose, maybe one example could be the investment in good staff. Also while BYOD (bring your own device) allows users to use their current preference of technology, this gives business owners one less thing to worry about, and in the process save a shed load of potential cost, not only for the actual hardware itself but also the ongoing maintenance.
So, having a virtual working environment is a great way to keep costs low, whilst working from absolutely anywhere (in the world). But, how do businesses manage this network of workers? There are some cool collaboration and management tools on the market that assist businesses in getting the very best out of their remote team. Products such as Insightly.com, Slack.com, Trello.com, Asana.com and Hivedesk.com empower you to easily communicate, manage, monitor and track your team and their work and tasks for all of your projects, all from easy to use interfaces and at low or no cost for small teams.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
Obtaining new customers is one thing, managing those customers can be a stressful process. Although you may want the very best for your customers and wish to attend to them in the quickest time possible, sometimes things can fall through the gaps. Now that today’s businesses have every opportunity to network with customers outside of their home territory means potential more commerce, but at the same time can create more problems (good and bad). Now that your teams can be remote and based anywhere, well, and so can your customers. Customer management platforms are available not only for large businesses but also small. Platforms such as sellfapp.com, Zendesk.com, LAdesk.com, Zoho.com to name a few, are some of the more popular and cost effective options. Being able to notify, monitor, manage, delegate and control prospects as well as outcomes for customer requests can be managed from a central platform and distributed throughout your network of colleagues in a well structured environment.
In virtual environments, the working hours can potentially be 24/7. Your employees can work at any time and the customers can contact the office round the clock. The bridge connecting the employees to one another and the customers to the employees i.e. the virtual office never goes offline. Communications can be managed using a whole range of available tools whether within your business or externally.
A popular internal communication platform is Skype that works on VoIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol). Skype.com gives the ability for you to communicate free of charge whether by voice or video call between you and your team no matter where they are located.
External communications and management of your inbound business calls can seem a little trickier. VoIP communications have advanced somewhat because of the continuous global expansion and the increasing speed of the Internet from both mobile and Wi-Fi connectivity. This can also be said for inbound business calls. Working within a virtual environment means that you, your team and your third party suppliers can literally be based any where around the world and at any time, as with your customers.
Like other virtual environments VoIP compliments your business by giving it the ability to have a presence in 1000’s of cities and allow you to portray an enterprise level presence to your customers and prospects.
Not only can you purchase local, National and Toll-Free numbers from almost anywhere worldwide, but you can also easily manage, monitor, record and route those calls across your business team, making sure that you never miss a call whilst keeping a professional interface to your customers. Communication can come from traditional phone calls all the way through to click to call campaigns directly from your web site. Companies such as VoiceRules.com give you the ability to have a fully virtual, feature rich, voice communication network giving you and your team the flexibility to work absolutely anywhere globally.