virtual business mistakes

Approximately 70% of full-time U.S. workers are working from home during the pandemic. Companies have had to run completely virtually for months, which has many business owners contemplating just losing the physical office all together to reduce overhead.

Moving to a completely virtual office has its benefits. Both companies and employees save money, eliminate a commute, and productivity is shown to increase for remote employees due to fewer distractions.

A few of the successfully run virtual companies that you may have heard of are Zapier and Toggl. There are also many smaller businesses that you may interact with on a regular basis and not even realize they’re run virtually.

There are several benefits to a company with no physical office:

  • No office rent
  • Cost savings on things like furniture, utilities, and office amenities
  • No commute
  • Employees take fewer sick/personal days
  • Your company can be run from nearly anywhere

But a move from a physical office to a completely virtually run business has to be done thoughtfully. Things can easily go wrong if it’s not done right, and can leave businesses with communication problems, issues with their brand perception to customers, and more. 

Mistakes to Avoid When Starting or Transitioning to a Virtual Company  

Not Having Remote Work Policies in Place

One mistake that business owners make is to think employees will “just know what to do” when they move from a physical office to a virtual one. They’ll assume they will just do what they did at the office, without realizing several things are going to differ and need to be addressed with a policy.

For example, can employees store work data on their personal computers? What happens when another family member wants to use that PC? How do employees clock in and out each day? What hours are they expected to be available? 

These are just a few of the many questions that come up that need a policy to address them. You set your team up for success by giving them clear remote working policies to follow from the start.

Lack of the Right Cloud Communication Tools

20% of remote employees say that office communication is a problem when working from home. Email has a time delay and if you have everyone texting everyone else, people can get left out of the loop, and companies lose information trails.

It’s important to have a cloud communication strategy and use a communication tool that can act as a virtual work hub, where everyone knows they can connect with everyone else through chat, video, or audio calls. 

Many team communication platforms, like Microsoft Teams, also have specific features that aid communication for virtual offices, such as status indicators to let everyone know if someone is at lunch or available.  

Using a Home Address for Their Business Address 

When starting a virtual business for the first time, many business owners will just use their home address as their company address. This becomes a problem when a potential client looks up your business on Google Street view and sees a residential house. They can lose faith that your company is professional enough to handle their business.

Using your home address on things like customer emails and invoices can also cause a problem for you and your family if a disgruntled customer is in town and decides to visit your company office to complain.

It’s best to use a business address service with mail handling services. This gives your company a physical address to use and handy mail handling at a professional office building. You keep your home address protected and present a professional image for those Googling your address.

Not Having a Professional Place to Go for In-Person Meetings

You’re trying to close a deal and a potential client asks to meet in person to go over the final contract. There’s an awkward pause as you wonder where you could tell them to meet you.

This is a common problem for virtually run businesses, because sometimes you just have to do things in person. Starbucks is loud and not a great place to impress a client. Having a relationship with a place that offers meeting room and day office rental can be an easy solve for the issue and give you a “go to” answer when someone asks to meet in person.

A bonus is that many meeting room rental spaces, like Tysons Office Suites, offer both a virtual office address and office/meeting room rental. So, your business address used on your letterhead and website matches the place you tell someone to meet you, which fosters trust in your business. 

Need Help Setting Up Your Virtual Company?  

Tysons Office Suites has everything you need to run a virtual company affordably. From a street address and mail handling to onsite meeting room rental, we’ve got you covered!

Contact us today to get started. Call 703-288-4001 or request a quote online.

Written by : Matt Rodela

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