Top Five Tips For Starting A Virtual Business

Top Five Tips For Starting A Virtual Business

Are you a​ virtual worker or​ thinking of​ becoming one? if​ you are,​ you're not alone. There's been a​ rise in​ virtual workers of​ 800 percent in​ just the​ past five years (Nemertes Research 2005). a​ big reason for this dramatic increase is​ that it's a​ great way to​ start a​ company,​ especially if​ you can work from a​ home office or​ out in​ the​ field.

With that in​ mind,​ a​ team of​ experts at​ Hewlett-Packard came up with these five tips on​ how to​ successfully operate a​ business from your home.

Tip #1: Make sure your business can operate "virtually." Are you meeting with contacts at​ your place of​ business or​ theirs? Do you spend most of​ your time outside the​ office?

• Good candidates for a​ virtual business include architects,​ interior designers,​ homebuilders,​ computer professionals,​ accountants and other service professionals whose work is​ actually conducted in​ other people's homes or​ businesses-ranging from cleaning services to​ home repair.

Tip #2: Consider your personality. Are you a​ self-starter or​ do you need inspiration from others to​ get things done? Do you prefer quiet time to​ work or​ do you thrive around other people who can provide reinforcement and support? Are your management skills suited for a​ phone-based relationship with your remote team?

Tip #3: Hire the​ right people. Do you have trustworthy employees who can get the​ job done,​ even if​ they are not physically in​ the​ same office? How much of​ their work is​ actually done outside the​ office? Do you have access to​ a​ mature talent pool of​ potential employees if​ you are just starting out or​ planning to​ expand?

Tip #4: Leverage technology. Go wireless and take security to​ heart. Do you have the​ technology in​ place to​ support a​ virtual business or​ a​ good technology advisor who can help wire your business for success? Have you considered streamlining your office with an​ all-in-one fax-printer-copier,​ notebooks,​ PDAs and a​ wireless LAN network? Fight security threats with anti-virus,​ vulnerability and business protection solutions to​ protect your data and secure your networked PCs. For added security,​ think about connecting through a​ wireless virtual private network (VPN) and watch your productivity expand. Did you know that with Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP) you can place a​ call anywhere in​ the​ world from an​ Internet connection without incurring long-distance fees? Even away from the​ home office,​ your employees can tap into WiFi networks at​ Internet cafes. Thanks to​ technology,​ many virtual companies have the​ face of​ a​ traditional company-yet operate with lower overhead and greater flexibility to​ stay competitive.

Tip #5: Create an​ online storefront and take advantage of​ e-commerce. an​ online presence can give your business the​ appearance of​ a​ traditional brick-and-mortar company. Small companies can grow into larger companies with an​ effective virtual business strategy.

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