Do you find it difficult to manage your team and run your company because of the constant travel required to do business?
When you and your team can’t afford to be held down in a set location to do business, virtual services are just what the doctor ordered. Running the business in a virtual environment affords you the ability not just for you and your staff to work while you travel, you can also save a lot of money!
Here are 5 virtual services you must have to manage you, your team, and your clients more effectively:
1. Virtual Office
A virtual office is a godsend for travelling teams that don’t have time to slow down, or rest in one place too long. After all, if you’re not going to spend every day in a brick-and-mortar location, what’s the sense in spending thousands a year to maintain it?
A physical office requires lease obligations, typically a half-year or more in length. There’s furnishing and a variety of overhead costs that dig into your bottom line, such as utilities, services, maintenance (Ie., cleaning). And, you also have to pay someone to hold down the fort when you and the rest of the team isn’t in.
All this amounts to big dollars that need to be spent, which could be allocated to other ventures.
A virtual office offers the following advantages:
- A legitimate physical address you can register your business to.
- A place for you and the team to receive mail (and phone calls if virtual reception is offered).
- A location where you and your team can work, or visit to meet with and entertain clients and partners as needed.
Note: Office supplies and amenities are usually included (including the latest software), and offices are typically located in central locations where coffee shops, bars, and restaurants are situated. Some virtual office services even grant you access to hundreds of professional office locations worldwide, to use as needed, at very reasonable rates.
2. Virtual Phone Number
A virtual phone number is essential when a business team is constantly on the go, moving from one place to the next. All your business’s calls are handled virtually, in the cloud, offering key advantages you’ll not get from any mobile provider:
- Central number for all calls: Customers don’t want to have to remember a bunch of different numbers for you and your various team members: Ie., “Suzy at the office,” “Mark on his mobile,” “You after hours.” A virtual phone number allows customers to get in touch with your company via one number and quickly get routed to the team member they need to speak with.
- Easy call routing: Calls can be routed to an IVR, virtual receptionist, or call center service at any time, so you never miss an important call because you’re on the line with someone else or taking personal time.
- Personalized customer experience: A virtual phone service gives you the option to have incoming calls identified by the caller’s number. This gives you the option to offer customized call greetings such as “Thanks so much for calling XYZ service, we want your business,” or “Thanks for calling again, a team member will be right with you.”
3. Virtual Receptionist
Whether you choose the services of a virtual phone answering services, or to hire a VA to perform this task, you need to have someone answering the phone when you and your staff are not.
A physical receptionist will cost well over $60,000/yr, after expenses. As mentioned, they also need an office to work at, along with all the tools needed to take calls for you. A single employee also can’t work 24/7, meaning the phones have to shut down at some point using this call-handling method.
A virtual receptionist can work part-time or full, and since it’s a virtual service, it is very affordable to hire multiple receptionists to handle all your calling needs. A virtual reception service is even better, as they have multiple staff on hand to handle calls 24/7 and account for increased call volumes, too.
4. Virtual Assistants
This one is actually a broad category, with many types of assistants to consider.
If you need a virtual employee to do monotonous time-consuming tasks, or even advanced work that requires extensive knowledge, chances are there’s someone out there offering that service right now.
This type of virtual assistant can be likened to the “Jack/Jill of all trades, master of none” kind of employee. That’s not to say they’re not highly skilled in various areas like web admin, coding, content creation, etc.
It’s just that this type of virtual staff can’t market themselves as an expert in any one area. As such, they tend to work for lower wages, and are available to take on a variety of menial or time-consuming tasks such as email filtering, data entry, scheduling site and social posts, research, booking appointments, etc.
Advanced VAs are the type of virtual staff that have a strong background in a given skill set. They may have a lot of online skills such as design, coding, SEO, and more that are useful to managing a brand online.
Advanced VAs come in all shapes and sizes though, and can also have advanced degrees and backgrounds in professions like:
- Medical billing
- Dental billing
- Web design
- Social Media
- Video editing
- Copywriting & editing
- Real Estate
- Virtual Research
- Administration (all kinds)
5. Cloud Services
The final must-have every travelling business team needs is cloud computing services. There are several that are free such as those offered by Google, Microsoft (MSN), and Amazon currently. All are great choices.
To get the best speed and “agility” out of all your company’s on-the-go software such as SalesForce, QuickBooks, Office, InfusionSoft and many others used in modern business; a travelling team needs a solidly-built cloud environment to operate and collaborate in.
Look for cloud services that offer top notch security, blazing fast data transfer rates, adequate storage (and the ability to scale affordably). Also, don’t forget to make sure your provider supports the use of all your favorite software tools and apps.
With advances in modern technology and business services, no team should ever feel they need to work out of a central physical location. With the virtual services mentioned, you and your travelling business team can run and grow the company on the road without ever missing a beat!