Interested in having your business take the next step and go virtual? Well, the first thing you would have to learn about is Virtual Office. But what is a Virtual Office?
A virtual office is a service that enables you and your employees to work remotely by providing a range of business functions and services easily accessible through the internet. As it operates primarily online, you can manage operations from anywhere, whether it's from the comfort of your home or in a public café.
A virtual office also enables business owners to create and maintain a presence in a desirable corporate location while avoiding expensive rental costs for an actual space. In short, it is a smart way for start-up or SMEs to cut down on any overhead costs and increase profit while expanding its reach.
However, while having a Virtual Office offers a lot of benefits and advantages, setting up your own Virtual Office for your company can be quite challenging.
Here we tell you the 5 step process on setting up your virtual office successfully.
Step 1: Plan plan plan
As any other traditional business, having a business plan is crucial to setting up a successful virtual office. It is important to consider your business’ specific needs.
Some of the things you have to include in your business plan are:
Services and products you offer
Industry and competitor analysis
Marketing and sales strategy
Budgets and financial projections
Organizational and management structure
Once you’ve got these laid out and developed a plan, you will easily be able to determine the next steps and your other needs. These are all vital to ensuring the success of your virtual business.
Step 2: Establish your office address & phone system
Although you will be operating virtually, it is still important to have a physical address and an office landline. Having these serves more than just a practical purpose and also conveys a professional image. Let’s take a look at both of these services in detail
Yes, even though you will be operating virtually, you will still need a business address. You will need an address to receive mails and deliveries. Additionally there will be times when you may temporarily need a conference room for business meetings.
Virtual offices can handle some of your calls as well as call forwarding services. The best part is that you don’t need to purchase any hardware for these virtual office tools.
Both these services can be provided by Coworking companies like SocialSpace247. We offer a virtual office business address or a corporate address where your mail can be delivered, and phone call handling.
Step 3: Acquire a domain & email address
Even if you are simply a small business owner, you should consider matching your email extension to your company domain. For example firstname.lastname@example.org.
A domain name is the website url used to identify your website on the internet. You can check the availability and get affordable domain registration from companies like GoDaddy.com. However, before registering your domain, you should learn more about domain extensions and use the right one for your type of business.
Step 4: Get the right tools
Since you will be operating virtually, you will need to ensure that your team is equipped with functional laptops and a stable internet connection. You will also have to decide on the right software solutions suitable for your business’ nature. Here are some tools you should consider getting:
Billing and invoicing solution: Decide on the system you’ll use to pay and send out invoices for your employees. With online invoicing tools you can easily send and receive invoices via email. Many online invoicing solutions also let you accept credit card payments, set up recurring billing, and send online invoices, saving you time and money.
File management system: You will need a document management system that allows you to store and share documents online. Some examples of a perfect online file storage system are Google Drive and Dropbox. You can access, share documents, and easily work with your team members. You can also collaborate in real time anywhere on any device.
Backup and recovery solution: It is important to equip your company with a backup system in place to protect your information. Thanks to cloud storage, you can access important documents and files anytime you need them. Look for a trustworthy company that offers online recovery solutions and can keep your business running smoothly.
Productivity management: Running a remote team for your virtual office means that you will need a way to manage attendance remotely. A productivity management system will help you keep track of your team’s working hours and attendance records. You will also be able to gauge employee productivity with reports, track the project’s progress in real-time and manage leaves, time-offs and break time.
Step 5: Adapt and practice the virtual culture
Going virtual means you need to take the extra steps to maintain and keep watch of your staff. Maintaining proper communication is even more critical, a lack of communication can become a significant concern for both virtual companies and their employees. In a virtual office, both the team leaders and employees should communicate more often to build a working relationship.
Here are some communication and collaboration tools you will need to work together as a team:
You will also need to establish an organizational culture for a virtual team. Here are some areas you should pay attention to:
Set working hours: It is essential to implement clear virtual office working hours. This way your employees know when they are supposed to be working and when they get off of work. If you have employees in different time zones, set standard working hours when everyone should be available.
Ensure employees are clear about their duties: Let them know the tasks and responsibilities assigned to them. In an environment where employees are responsible for themselves, it’s crucial to assign clear responsibilities. Managers should give each team member detailed instructions from the start and encourage them to ask questions.
Look for team building opportunities: Team bonding is much more important in a virtual company as you would expect in a regular office. It’s quite common for remote employees to feel a lack of connection to their coworkers and who they work for. This can impact their productivity and work performance. Build a relationship and look for opportunities to connect with your team.
With all that being said, opting for a virtual office rather than a physical office has its benefits. Although there are things to consider with a virtual office setup, all you need to do is have a clear plan and use the right tools for your virtual office. Follow the steps we’ve laid out here and you will be able to get a successful virtual office up and running in no time!
If you are looking for a virtual office or an office space in Alabang, make sure you check out our website or send us a message.