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5 Reasons a Virtual Office May Be Better for your Small Business

| November 3, 2017 | Business Strategy

Technology is perhaps the most powerful gift of our time, yet so many entrepreneurs and small businesses, have barely unwrapped the package, much less put it to full use. A perfect example of this is the virtual office. Virtual offices and work teams are transforming how companies operate, compete, serve customers, and realize profits, but many businesses across the region have yet to consider the real benefits of a virtual office. Here are 5 reasons a virtual office may be better for business:

Less Administration

Think about it. One of the big advantages of a virtual office is that it reduces the administrative work involved in managing a physical office. Running a brick and mortar is a lot of work! Cleaning, servicing, repairing, and maintenance are just the tip of the iceberg. The larger the space, the greater the managerial and clerical responsibility. And this is not only time-consuming and expensive, but carries with it substantial business risks, such as injuries at work, damage or loss to assets, and many others. Operating virtually eliminates a substantial amount of work and considerable risk.

Closer Ties to Customers

Sometimes small businesses get so bogged down by the work of managing their physical space that their focus on the customer suffers. When you take office management out of the equation, you can more appropriately focus on your reason for existence: serving the customer. In fact, virtual businesses often become closer to their customers through more frequent and timely communication to compensate for the lack of physical interaction. The pay-off of stronger customer relationships and increased engagement is invaluable.

Staying on the Cutting-edge

As you might expect, businesses that operate virtually typically search for and use the most up- to-date and innovative communication, organization, operational, human resource management, logistics, and customer engagement tools. The very nature of their infrastructure has modern technology at their core. For instance, virtual companies take advantage of e-commerce, allowing customers to shop whenever they want and offer convenient online payment gateways. The global trend of doing all types of business online, especially shopping, continues to gain huge momentum and will increase dramatically for the foreseeable future.  Virtual set-ups typically reduce the handling of cash which benefits the business and the customers and is far more efficient, safe, accurate, and hassle-free for businesses and their customers.

Increased Efficiency

What happens when you take advantage of the cutting-edge technological applications and tools in management, marketing, sales, operations, and logistics? You eliminate inefficiencies and become closer only to what is essential to your business model. The core of the business takes center stage. When you are operating at optimal efficiency your business creates a significant competitive edge. It will become more challenging for your competition and far less attractive or easy for new entrants to the market. Traditional brick and mortar businesses are sometimes blindsided by competitors that are more tech savvy, innovative, and resourceful. The efficiency and lean approach of the virtual model offers can offer some protection against those who will try to compete with you solely on increased efficiency and reduced price.

Reduced Costs/ More Profitable

Perhaps the most compelling reason for businesses to go virtual is that they can reduce costs and increase profitability. In some cases, companies report annual cost savings of anywhere from 35%-70%. When those savings are combined with increased efficiency and focus on core business activities, as well as greater customer engagement and satisfaction, it’s no surprise that the end result is major profit growth.

Once you consider the incredible advantages of going virtual the first question to ask yourself is whether your business model could thrive fully, or in part without major investments in physical spaces? If the answer is yes, then what are you waiting for to take greater advantage of the gift of technology?

Yaneek Page
Yaneek Page
Yaneek Page is the founder and managing director of Future Services International Limited (FSIL), a pioneering company in legal funding in Jamaica. A certified trainer in entrepreneurship, she is also the creator & executive producer of The Innovators business TV series which promotes entrepreneurship development and aims to transform small businesses. Yaneek has received many awards and accolades including the US-based Enterprising Women of the Year Winner (2015), Female Business Leader of the Year in 2013 and a Nation Builder award in the category Women in Business in 2011.

See all posts by Yaneek Page

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