Business owners who are trying to grow their new business need to keep one eye firmly on the bottom line. Expenses can add up quickly, and it pays to look for ways to keep costs down. One way to accomplish this goal is to work from a virtual office instead of setting up shop in a traditional one. That way, you can project a professional image and make your business look bigger, too.
Here are three ways to make the most of using a virtual office.
1. Find a virtual office that also provides meeting rooms.
You can accomplish a lot for your business on the road, but there will be times when you need to hold face-to-face meetings If you want to project a professional image, you will want to be able to invite a prospect to an environment that is a bit more formal and private than a local coffee shop. A virtual office provider that offers reception services and meeting rooms can create a professional meeting environment.
2. Use communication tools to help your virtual team members stay in touch.
You don’t necessarily have to be in the same city or country as the rest of your team, and there are a number of communication tools available to help you stay on track. Skype is a convenient and cost-effective way to stay in touch. This service allows you to use instant messaging and video calling to hold meetings with your team. You can also use it to call phones or mobile phones easily and economically.
A project management system is another useful tool when you get to the point where you are adding team members to your virtual office. This software can help you keep track of progress on numerous projects, which team members are assigned to different tasks, and due dates. All of these functions can be managed remotely, and the team members can upload and share files directly through the system.
Another option for sharing information among team members is a private social network. This can work well for people already familiar with and using social networking sites to share information with family and friends. In this case, they would be sharing and collaborating on work-related projects.
3. Become a master of time management.
Just because you are working virtually, it doesn’t mean you don’t have to schedule your workday. Unless you get a good handle on your time and the tasks you need to accomplish to keep your business running, you will find yourself working at all hours to get things done.
Set out a daily, weekly and monthly schedule for your work. It can be helpful to block off time in your calendar for certain activities. Make these “appointments” to work on different projects, and be sure to keep them! You will also want to leave some time open in your schedule for last-minute meetings or to accommodate a project that takes longer than expected.
What are some of your favorite start up tips for success? Has a virtual office been an essential part of your launch phase? Let us know in the comments!