The on-site workplace, as we know, is coming to an end. Modern information technology has made it easier to set up a virtual office with nothing more than a PC, a smartphone, and a team of remote workers. Businesses can now find talented employees from anywhere worldwide, eliminating the need to relocate your dream employees to your headquarters.
Virtual offices and staff are also appealing to start-ups on a tight budget, and rightly so. They save up to 40% on the salary costs of a full-time in-house employee by eliminating the need to pay for desk space and holiday, sickness, and maternity leave.
This article is going to outline seven incredible ways to set up a virtual office business in the UK.
Set Up an Online Location and Handle Email
In terms of communication, it is critical to communicate the location of your virtual office, but how can you do this as a remote company? Simple, by establishing a virtual business address.
Opting for an address for your virtual office in UK enhances your company’s credibility and professionalism. It will also provide you with a competitive advantage over other businesses.
In addition, consider getting a business email. Keep your email address consistent with the name of your online business. This makes it easier for those who receive your emails to understand and not question their authenticity.
As a result, validate that all your business contacts have your new virtual address. This ensures that all business correspondence is routed to the appropriate location rather than your home. This is a great way to keep your mail organized.
Set Your Strategy
Creating a strategy, like many other things, is critical in establishing a virtual office. Whether you work remotely or not, your business plan will assist you in mapping out this strategy and determining the resources you’ll require in the virtual office space. Also, your business concept should be clear enough to assist you in developing this plan.
Essential things your business plan should include are as follows:
- An executive summary
- Market analysis of your chosen industry and competitors
- Company description
- The products/services you offer
- A layout of your organizational and management structure
- Marketing and sales strategy
- Funding request
- Company budget and financial projections
Drafting this strategy will assist you in clarifying your needs for staffing, equipment, workspace, and business legal structure, among other things. All of these are critical to the smooth operation of your company.
Use Software as a Service
You don’t need to spend money and resources building your server and software if your company isn’t in the IT industry. The ‘Software as a Service (SAAS)’ concept has transformed how businesses access IT by allowing them to use ready-made software applications tailored to their specific needs.
Thanks to the cloud, you can now subscribe to almost all aspects of business IT on a monthly or ad-hoc basis. This range from your company’s CRM system and payroll software to CAD and Adobe Creative Cloud, all hosted online. Benefits include real-time access to the latest Software, typically only available to larger enterprises, and no upfront costs.
There is no need to forecast demand because Software as a service allows for scalability when your company grows or needs to cut back.
Set Up Channels for Communication
Communication is among the most critical aspects of remote work. Collaboration tools are the ideal solution for management and staff communication. Significantly, tools for collaboration come in a wide variety of sizes and shapes.
You can select a video chat-enabled platform like Zoom or Skype.
Clear communication is crucial to keep in mind. Even though you have these programs, practical communication skills are more crucial.
Choose Your Business Structure
When you register — or incorporate — your business as a legal entity recognized by the state, you choose your business form.
As an online business owner, you can incorporate your company as a Limited Liability Company, C Corporation, or S Corporation. Consider adding an LLC or Inc. to your company name; lenders, clients, and vendors are more likely to take your company seriously.
Remember, your virtual office business must project a professional image to thrive.
Incorporating your company while setting up your virtual office is an excellent idea if you’ve been operating as a sole proprietor or partnership.
But which of these three business structures (LLC, C Corp, and S Corp) should you choose?
Their advantages and disadvantages will guide you. But first, it’s important to note that an S-corp is a tax status rather than a business structure. It allows small businesses to enjoy the same tax benefits as corporations while avoiding double taxation. To obtain the S-corp tax status, you must first register your company as an LLC or C-corp.
Set Up Your Assistants
There are numerous advantages that an assistant can provide for you and your company. Training an employee takes time, and if you’re starting, time may be a luxury you don’t have much of. Instead, you require someone who requires minimal training. This is where a virtual assistant can help.
A virtual assistant can make your life easier by acting as a buffer between you and your customers. They can give your caller valuable attention without interrupting your meeting if they know you’re on the phone.
Security and Backing Up
Moving to a virtual office introduces new security risks. Even though there is no physical office or server to steal, you keep your data secure online. To begin, obtain a secure private hosting account designed for business use. It is possible to have layered access depending on the employee and their IP address.
Moreover, when accessing a company network or sensitive data, remote workers can use two-factor authentication and encrypt their hard drives if they will be used to store business data or files. Anti-virus and other security software can also be updated automatically on any device that accesses company data or networks.
No company wants to risk losing data, especially if it is their client’s data. Still, by storing data in the cloud and using online backups or replication, the data is stored away from your company’s system, and auto backup can be easily set up. There is no room for human error, and it saves money over a physical storage solution.
For your remote business to thrive, you must have a virtual office. Setting up a virtual office is easy and opens numerous possibilities to scale your business. But remember that every business is unique, as is every virtual office, so you should always strive to find what is best for you.