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The Benefits of Creating a Virtual Phone Number for Remote Teams
In today’s digital age, remote work has become increasingly popular. With the advancements in technology and the rise of virtual teams, businesses are adapting to this new way of working. One essential tool for remote teams is a virtual phone number. This article will explore the benefits of creating a virtual phone number for remote teams and how it can enhance communication and productivity.
Effective communication is crucial for any team, especially when working remotely. A virtual phone number allows team members to stay connected regardless of their location. Whether they are working from home or traveling, they can easily make and receive calls using their virtual number.
Having a dedicated phone number for your remote team helps streamline communication channels. Instead of relying on personal phone numbers or multiple messaging platforms, everyone can use the same virtual number to communicate with clients, colleagues, and other stakeholders.
Professionalism and Branding
Maintaining a professional image is essential for any business, including remote teams. A virtual phone number enables your team members to present themselves professionally when making business calls.
By using a virtual phone number with an area code that matches your target market or headquarters, you create an impression of being local and accessible to customers in that area. This enhances your brand’s credibility and trustworthiness in the eyes of potential clients.
Furthermore, a virtual phone number allows you to customize greetings and voicemail messages according to your brand’s tone and values. This consistency in branding helps create a cohesive experience for callers while reinforcing your company’s identity.
Flexibility and Mobility
Remote work offers unparalleled flexibility, allowing employees to work from anywhere at any time. A virtual phone number complements this flexibility by enabling team members to make and receive calls on the go.
With a mobile app associated with their virtual phone number, team members can answer business calls directly from their smartphones or laptops without revealing personal contact information. This feature proves especially valuable when team members are traveling or attending conferences, as they can stay connected with clients and colleagues without the need for additional hardware or complicated setups.
Call Management and Analytics
Efficient call management is essential for remote teams to ensure smooth operations. Virtual phone numbers offer various features that enhance call management and provide valuable analytics.
Features like call forwarding, voicemail transcription, and automated call routing enable remote teams to handle calls effectively. Calls can be forwarded to different team members based on availability or skillset, ensuring that clients’ inquiries are promptly addressed.
Additionally, virtual phone number providers often offer detailed analytics and reporting capabilities. Team leaders can gain insights into call volume, average response time, and other metrics that help them monitor team performance and identify areas for improvement.
In conclusion, creating a virtual phone number for your remote team brings numerous benefits. It improves communication by providing a dedicated channel for business calls, enhances professionalism by presenting a consistent brand image, offers flexibility by enabling calls on the go, and provides valuable call management features and analytics. By leveraging this technology, businesses can ensure efficient communication within their remote teams while maintaining a professional image in their industry.
This text was generated using a large language model, and select text has been reviewed and moderated for purposes such as readability.
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How to write a business plan for a virtual office?
Creating a business plan for a virtual office is an essential process for any entrepreneur. It serves as a roadmap that outlines the necessary steps to be taken to start or grow the business, the resources required, and the anticipated financial outcomes. It should be crafted with method and confidence.
This guide is designed to provide you with the tools and knowledge necessary for creating a virtual office business plan, covering why it is so important both when starting up and running an established business, what should be included in your plan, how it should be structured, what tools should be used to save time and avoid errors, and other helpful tips.
We have a lot to cover, so let's get to it!
In this guide:
Why write a business plan for a virtual office?
What information is needed to create a business plan for a virtual office.
- What goes in the financial forecast for a virtual office?
- What goes in the written part of a virtual office business plan?
- What tool can I use to write my virtual office business plan?
Being clear on the scope and goals of the document will make it easier to understand its structure and content. So before diving into the actual content of the plan, let's have a quick look at the main reasons why you would want to write a virtual office business plan in the first place.
To have a clear roadmap to grow the business
It's rarely business as usual for small businesses. The economy follows cycles where years of growth are followed by recessions, and the business environment is always changing with new technologies, new regulations, new competitors, and new consumer behaviours appearing all the time...
In this context, running a business without a clear roadmap is like driving blindfolded: it's dangerous at best. That's why writing a business plan for a virtual office is essential to create successful and sustainable businesses.
To write an effective business plan, you will need to take stock of where you are (if you are already in business) and where you want the business to go in the next three to five years.
Once you know where you want your virtual office to be, you'll have to identify:
- what resources (human, equipment, and capital) are needed to get there,
- at what pace the business needs to progress to get there in time,
- and what risks you'll face along the way.
Going through this process regularly is beneficial, both for startups and existing companies, as it helps make informed decisions about how best to allocate resources to ensure the long-term success of the business.
To maintain visibility on future cash flows
Businesses can go for years without making a profit, but they go bust as soon as they run out of cash. That's why "cash is king", and maintaining visibility on your virtual office's future cash flows is critical.
How do I do that? That's simple: you need an up-to-date financial forecast.
The good news is that your virtual office business plan already contains a financial forecast (more on that later in this guide), so all you have to do is to keep it up-to-date.
To do this, you need to regularly compare the actual financial performance of your business to what was planned in your financial forecast, and adjust the forecast based on the current trajectory of your business.
Monitoring your virtual office's financial health will enable you to identify potential financial problems (such as an unexpected cash shortfall) early and to put in place corrective measures. It will also allow you to detect and capitalize on potential growth opportunities (higher demand from a given segment of customers for example).
To secure financing
Whether you are a startup or an existing business, writing a detailed virtual office business plan is essential when seeking financing from banks or investors.
This makes sense given what we've just seen: financiers want to ensure you have a clear roadmap and visibility on your future cash flows.
Banks will use the information included in the plan to assess your borrowing capacity (how much debt your business can support) and your ability to repay the loan before deciding whether they will extend credit to your business and on what terms.
Similarly, investors will review your plan carefully to assess if their investment can generate an attractive return on investment.
To do so, they will be looking for evidence that your virtual office has the potential for healthy growth, profitability, and cash flow generation over time.
Now that you understand why it is important to create a business plan for a virtual office, let's take a look at what information is needed to create one.
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Writing a virtual office business plan requires research so that you can project sales, investments and cost accurately in your financial forecast.
In this section, we cover three key pieces of information you should gather before drafting your business plan!
Carrying out market research for a virtual office
As you consider writing your business plan for a virtual office, conducting market research becomes a vital step to ensure accurate and realistic financial projections.
Market research provides valuable insights into your target customer base, competitors, pricing strategies, and other key factors that can significantly impact the commercial success of your business.
Through this research, you may uncover trends that could influence your virtual office.
You may find that customers could be looking for convenience when it comes to virtual office services, such as access to integrated technologies, so you might consider offering a comprehensive suite of technology options. Additionally, customers may be interested in cost-effectiveness, so you could explore ways to provide quality services at competitive prices.
Such market trends play a significant role in forecasting revenue, as they offer valuable data about potential customers' spending habits and preferences.
By incorporating these findings into your financial projections, you can present investors with more accurate information, helping them make informed decisions about investing in your virtual office.
Developing the marketing plan for a virtual office
Before delving into your virtual office business plan, it's imperative to budget for sales and marketing expenses.
To achieve this, a comprehensive sales and marketing plan is essential. This plan should provide an accurate projection of the necessary actions to acquire and retain customers.
Additionally, it will outline the required workforce to carry out these initiatives and the corresponding budget for promotions, advertising, and other marketing endeavours.
By budgeting accordingly, you can ensure that the right resources are allocated to these vital activities, aligning them with the sales and growth objectives outlined in your business plan.
The staffing and capital expenditure requirements of a virtual office
Whether you are starting or expanding a virtual office, it is important to have a clear plan for recruitment and capital expenditures (investment in equipment and real estate) in order to ensure the success of the business.
Both the recruitment and investment plans need to be coherent with the timing and level of growth planned in your forecast, and require appropriate funding.
A virtual office might incur staffing costs such as a virtual receptionist, customer service representative, and office manager. Equipment costs could include a computer, internet connection, phone system, and software such as customer relationship management (CRM) software.
In order to create a realistic financial forecast, you will also need to consider the other operating expenses associated with running the business on a day-to-day basis (insurance, bookkeeping, etc.).
Once you have all the necessary information to create a business plan for your virtual office, it is time to start creating your financial forecast.
What goes into your virtual office's financial forecast?
The objective of the financial forecast of your virtual office's business plan is to show the growth, profitability, funding requirements, and cash generation potential of your business over the next 3 to 5 years.
The four key outputs of a financial forecast for a virtual office are:
- The profit and loss (P&L) statement ,
- The projected balance sheet ,
- The cash flow forecast ,
- And the sources and uses table .
Let's look at each of these in a bit more detail.
The projected P&L statement
The projected P&L statement for a virtual office shows how much revenue and profits your business is expected to generate in the future.
Ideally, your virtual office's P&L statement should show:
- Healthy growth - above inflation level
- Improving or stable profit margins
- Positive net profit
Expectations will vary based on the stage of your business. A startup will be expected to grow faster than an established virtual office. And similarly, an established company should showcase a higher level of profitability than a new venture.
The projected balance sheet of your virtual office
Your virtual office's forecasted balance sheet enables the reader of your plan to assess your financial structure, working capital, and investment policy.
It is composed of three types of elements: assets, liabilities and equity:
- Assets: represent what the business owns and uses to produce cash flows. It includes resources such as cash, equipment, and accounts receivable (money owed by clients).
- Liabilities: represent funds advanced to the business by lenders and other creditors. It includes items such as accounts payable (money owed to suppliers), taxes due and loans.
- Equity: is the combination of what has been invested by the business owners and the cumulative profits and losses generated by the business to date (which are called retained earnings). Equity is a proxy for the value of the owner's stake in the business.
Your virtual office's balance sheet will usually be analyzed in conjunction with the other financial statements included in your forecast.
Two key points of focus will be:
- Your virtual office's liquidity: does your business have sufficient cash and short-term assets to pay what it owes over the next 12 months?
- And its solvency: does your business have the capacity to repay its debt over the medium-term?
The cash flow forecast
A projected cash flow statement for a virtual office is used to show how much cash the business is generating or consuming.
The cash flow forecast is usually organized by nature to show three key metrics:
- The operating cash flow: do the core business activities generate or consume cash?
- The investing cash flow: how much is the business investing in long-term assets (this is usually compared to the level of fixed assets on the balance sheet to assess whether the business is regularly maintaining and renewing its equipment)?
- The financing cash flow: is the business raising new financing or repaying financiers (debt repayment, dividends)?
As we discussed earlier, cash is king and keeping an eye on future cash flows an imperative for running a successful business. Therefore, you can expect the reader of your virtual office business plan to pay close attention to your cash flow forecast.
Also, note that it is customary to provide both yearly and monthly cash flow forecasts in a business plan - so that the reader can analyze seasonal variation and ensure the virtual office is appropriately funded.
The initial financing plan
The sources and uses table or initial financing plan is a key component of your business plan when starting a virtual office.
It shows where the capital needed to set up the business will come from (sources) and how it will be spent (uses).
This table helps size the investment required to set up the virtual office, and understand how risks will be distributed between the business owners, and the financiers.
The sources and uses table also highlights what the starting cash position will be. This is key for startups as the business needs to have sufficient funding to sustain operations until the break-even point is reached.
Now that you have a clear understanding of what will go into the financial forecast of your virtual office business plan, let's have a look at the written part of the plan.
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The written part of a virtual office business plan
The written part of the business plan is where you will explain what your business does and how it operates, what your target market is, whom you compete against, and what strategy you will put in place to seize the commercial opportunity you've identified.
Having this context is key for the reader to form a view on whether or not they believe that your plan is achievable and the numbers in your forecast realistic.
The written part of a virtual office business plan is composed of 7 main sections:
- The executive summary
- The presentation of the company
- The products and services
- The market analysis
- The strategy
- The operations
- The financial plan
Let's go through the content of each section in more detail!
1. The executive summary
In your virtual office's business plan, the first section is the executive summary — a captivating overview of your plan that aims to pique the reader's interest and leave them eager to learn more about your business.
When crafting the executive summary, start with an introduction to your business, including its name, concept, location, how long it has been running, and what sets it apart. Briefly mention the products and services you plan to offer and your target customer profile.
Following that, provide an overview of the addressable market for your virtual office, current trends, and potential growth opportunities.
Next, include a summary of key financial figures like projected revenues, profits, and cash flows.
Finally, in the "ask" section, detail any funding requirements you may have.
2. The presentation of the company
In your virtual office business plan, the second section should focus on the structure and ownership, location, and management team of your company.
In the structure and ownership part, you'll provide an overview of the business's legal structure, details about the owners, and their respective investments and ownership shares. This clarity is crucial, especially if you're seeking financing, as it helps the reader understand which legal entity will receive the funds and who controls the business.
Moving on to the location part, you'll offer an overview of the company's premises and their surroundings. Explain why this particular location is of interest, highlighting factors like catchment area, accessibility, and nearby amenities.
When describing the location of your virtual office, you could emphasize the region's easy access to key transportation links, the availability of skilled labor, and the potential for growth. You might also point out the low cost of living and the wide range of amenities and cultural attractions in the area. Additionally, you could highlight the region's potential for strong economic growth and the positive business environment that exists there.
Finally, you should introduce your management team. Describe each member's role, background, and experience.
Don't forget to emphasize any past successes achieved by the management team and how long they've been working together. Demonstrating their track record and teamwork will help potential lenders or investors gain confidence in their leadership and ability to execute the business plan.
3. The products and services section
The products and services section of your business plan should include a detailed description of the offerings that your company provides to its customers.
For example, your virtual office can offer customers a dedicated business address, access to a professional and knowledgeable receptionist, and a full suite of virtual office services. This ensures customers can maintain a professional image with a physical address, have their calls answered in a timely manner, and access additional virtual services such as meeting space, mail forwarding, and other administrative tasks.
When drafting this section, you should be precise about the categories of products or services you sell, the types of customers you are targeting and how customers can buy them.
4. The market analysis
When you present your market analysis in your virtual office business plan, it's crucial to include detailed information about customers' demographics and segmentation, target market, competition, barriers to entry, and any relevant regulations.
The main objective of this section is to help the reader understand the size and attractiveness of the market while demonstrating your solid understanding of the industry.
Begin with the demographics and segmentation subsection, providing an overview of the addressable market for your virtual office, the key trends in the marketplace, and introducing different customer segments along with their preferences in terms of purchasing habits and budgets.
Next, focus on your target market, zooming in on the specific customer segments your virtual office aims to serve and explaining how your products and services fulfil their distinct needs.
For example, your target market might include entrepreneurs who need an office-like environment but lack the resources to maintain a physical space. This could include business owners who are just starting out and need a professional address and meeting space, but don't have the budget for a commercial lease. Lastly, this might also include remote workers who need a space to work from and access to office amenities that they don't have at home.
Then proceed to the competition subsection, where you introduce your main competitors and highlight what sets you apart from them.
Finally, conclude your market analysis with an overview of the key regulations applicable to your virtual office.
5. The strategy section
When crafting the strategy section of your business plan for your virtual office, it's important to cover several key aspects, including your competitive edge, pricing strategy, sales & marketing plan, milestones, and risks and mitigants.
In the competitive edge subsection, clearly explain what sets your company apart from competitors. This is particularly critical if you're a startup, as you'll be trying to establish your presence in the marketplace among entrenched players.
The pricing strategy subsection should demonstrate how you aim to maintain profitability while offering competitive prices to your customers.
For the sales & marketing plan, outline how you plan to reach and acquire new customers, as well as retain existing ones through loyalty programs or special offers.
In the milestones subsection, detail what your company has achieved thus far and outline your primary objectives for the coming years by including specific dates for expected progress. This ensures everyone involved has clear expectations.
Lastly, in the risks and mitigants subsection, list the main risks that could potentially impact the execution of your plan. Explain the measures you've taken to minimize these risks. This is vital for investors or lenders to feel confident in supporting your venture - try to proactively address any objection they might have.
Your virtual office may be vulnerable to cyber-attacks, which could put confidential data at risk. Cyber-criminals could exploit weaknesses in the system to access sensitive information or install malicious software. Additionally, the office may be susceptible to power outages or other connectivity issues that could disrupt operations. These issues may be caused by hardware failure, software bugs, or other external factors.
6. The operations section
The operations of your virtual office must be presented in detail in your business plan.
The first thing you should cover in this section is your staffing team, the main roles, and the overall recruitment plan to support the growth expected in your business plan. You should also outline the qualifications and experience necessary to fulfil each role, and how you intend to recruit (using job boards, referrals, or headhunters).
You should then state the operating hours of your virtual office - so that the reader can check the adequacy of your staffing levels - and any plans for varying opening times during peak season. Additionally, the plan should include details on how you will handle customer queries outside of normal operating hours.
The next part of this section should focus on the key assets and IP required to operate your business. If you depend on any licenses or trademarks, physical structures (equipment or property) or lease agreements, these should all go in there.
You may have key assets such as computers and software that could be critical to the operation of your virtual office. Additionally, you might also have intellectual property such as written content, graphics, or other unique materials that could be used to create a competitive advantage.
Finally, you should include a list of suppliers that you plan to work with and a breakdown of their services and main commercial terms (price, payment terms, contract duration, etc.). Investors are always keen to know if there is a particular reason why you have chosen to work with a specific supplier (higher-quality products or past relationships for example).
7. The presentation of the financial plan
The financial plan section is where we will present the financial forecast we talked about earlier in this guide.
Now that you have a clear idea of what goes in your virtual office business plan, let's look at the solutions you can use to draft yours.
What tool should I use to write my virtual office's business plan?
There are two main ways of creating your virtual office business plan:
- Using specialized business planning software,
- Hiring a business plan writer.
Using an online business plan software for your virtual office's business plan
The modern and most efficient way to write a virtual office business plan is to use business plan software .
There are several advantages to using specialized software:
- You can easily create your financial forecast by letting the software take care of the financial calculations for you without errors
- You are guided through the writing process by detailed instructions and examples for each part of the plan
- You can access a library of dozens of complete business plan samples and templates for inspiration
- You get a professional business plan, formatted and ready to be sent to your bank or investors
- You can easily track your actual financial performance against your financial forecast
- You can create scenarios to stress test your forecast's main assumptions
- You can easily update your forecast as time goes by to maintain visibility on future cash flows
- You have a friendly support team on standby to assist you when you are stuck
If you're interested in using this type of solution, you can try The Business Plan Shop for free by signing up here .
Hiring a business plan writer to write your virtual office's business plan
Outsourcing your virtual office business plan to a business plan writer can also be a viable option.
Business plan writers are skilled in creating error-free business plans and accurate financial forecasts. Moreover, hiring a consultant can save you valuable time, allowing you to focus on day-to-day business operations.
However, it's essential to be aware that hiring business plan writers will be expensive, as you're not only paying for their time but also the software they use and their profit margin.
Based on experience, you should budget at least £1.5k ($2.0k) excluding tax for a comprehensive business plan, and more if you require changes after initial discussions with lenders or investors.
Also, exercise caution when seeking investment. Investors prefer their funds to be directed towards business growth rather than spent on consulting fees. Therefore, the amount you spend on business plan writing services and other consulting services should be insignificant compared to the amount raised.
Keep in mind that one drawback is that you usually don't own the business plan itself; you only receive the output, while the actual document is saved in the consultant's business planning software. This can make it challenging to update the document without retaining the consultant's services.
For these reasons, carefully consider outsourcing your virtual office business plan to a business plan writer, weighing the advantages and disadvantages of seeking outside assistance.
Why not create your virtual office's business plan using Word or Excel?
Using Microsoft Excel and Word (or their Google, Apple, or open-source equivalents) to write a virtual office business plan is a terrible idea.
For starters, creating an accurate and error-free financial forecast on Excel (or any spreadsheet) is very technical and requires both a strong grasp of accounting principles and solid skills in financial modelling.
As a result, it is unlikely anyone will trust your numbers unless - like us at The Business Plan Shop - you hold a degree in finance and accounting and have significant financial modelling experience in your past.
The second reason is that it is inefficient. Building forecasts on spreadsheets was the only option in the 1990s and early 2000s, nowadays technology has advanced and software can do it much faster and much more accurately.
And with the rise of AI, software is also becoming smarter at helping us detect mistakes in our forecasts and helping us analyse the numbers to make better decisions.
Also, using software makes it easy to compare actuals vs. forecasts and maintain our forecasts up to date to maintain visibility on future cash flows - as we discussed earlier in this guide - whereas this is a pain to do with a spreadsheet.
That's for the forecast, but what about the written part of my virtual office business plan?
This part is less error-prone, but here also software brings tremendous gains in productivity:
- Word processors don't include instructions and examples for each part of your business plan
- Word processors don't update your numbers automatically when they change in your forecast
- Word processors don't handle the formatting for you
Overall, while Word or Excel may be viable options for creating a virtual office business plan for some entrepreneurs, it is by far not the best or most efficient solution.
- Having an up-to-date business plan is key to maintaining visibility on your future cash flows.
- A business plan has 2 parts: a financial forecast highlighting the expected growth, profitability and cash generation of the business; and a written part which provides the context needed to interpret and assess the quality of the forecast.
- Using business plan software is the modern way of writing and maintaining business plans.
We hope that this guide helped you to better understand how to write the business plan for a virtual office. If you still have questions, do not hesitate to contact us.
Also on The Business Plan Shop
- How to write a 5 years business plan
- Business plan myths
Know someone who owns or wants to start a virtual office? Share this article with them!
Founder & CEO at The Business Plan Shop Ltd
Guillaume Le Brouster is a seasoned entrepreneur and financier.
Guillaume has been an entrepreneur for more than a decade and has first-hand experience of starting, running, and growing a successful business.
Prior to being a business owner, Guillaume worked in investment banking and private equity, where he spent most of his time creating complex financial forecasts, writing business plans, and analysing financial statements to make financing and investment decisions.
Guillaume holds a Master's Degree in Finance from ESCP Business School and a Bachelor of Science in Business & Management from Paris Dauphine University.
Published on 29 Sep 2023 , last update on 30 Sep 2023 , as per our editorial standards .
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15 November, 2023
10 Must-Have Tips For Building a Successful Virtual Business
There is no question that remote work has become the new normal, as 37% of people in the UK alone work remotely at least once every week. More than half of them fully embrace this flexible lifestyle for as much as half of their weeks. The same is happening worldwide and experts forecast that by the year 2025, 22% of Americans will transition from working within office walls to cosy homes, bustling coffee shops, or even serene beach shores.
If you got used to the "digital nomad" existence, then you already know just how wonderfully convenient working from home or anywhere else is. It’s also a great time if you want to start a virtual business of your own that allows you to be the boss in running your virtual staff.
Honestly speaking, opening up a company for real is harder than starting a virtual business, as it frees you up from many burdensome tasks and is a tad cheaper. Yet, success online demands scrupulous planning and application.
The backbone strategies and ideas in this article have all the information on how to start a virtual business successfully. Read on to find them out!
1. Create Your Business Plan
First things first. Before you draft any plans to launch a virtual business, you need to select the niche where you want to settle. It might seem like a piece of cake, but believe us, it's not. There are many factors to consider, like product/service popularity, target audience location, competition, further investment, and finally, your interest in the area. You'd better choose the one where competition is not too fierce for quick market entry. Also, look up to those niches that don't experience rapid seasonal shifts in product demand and span the TA you are aiming at.
Once you've decided on the specific type of business you want to start, the next step is to put your plan into writing. Your business plan should include a summary of your business, its mission, and vision. It should also detail the marketing and sales strategies you'll run. Create an outline of how you'll hire your future employees and what to look for in them. Set a budget on how much you can pay them and the hours you need them to clock in.
Don't forget that you still need to set your business budget, even if you'll get a virtual office. We'll talk more about virtual offices later, but in the meantime, map out your overhead costs. This may be office equipment, like a new PC setup, or phone and Internet service.
2. Decide on a Business Address
Even virtual businesses need to have a business address, as this is vital to gaining trust. In Google alone, which processes 3.5 billion searches a day, you need it to appear on its Maps. For consumers, a business address is key to making them more trusting of online businesses.
A business address for your start-up is also a must if you're planning to take out a business loan. You also require it if you're a registered Limited Liability Company (LLC).
One more thing is that even though you may not be able to use your home address, you should bypass P.O. boxes . A P.O. box may only make your legitimate company look less credible. A viable alternative may be using your home address, but then you'll encounter a similar problem: it makes the business look too personal and not professional. It can also invite privacy concerns, as your home address is now available in the open, and people may be knocking on your door and sending unwanted emails to you.
Therefore, the only real solution to this issue is to choose a virtual office address that adds an element of professionalism to the business, along with keeping a strict demarcation between your personal and professional identity.
3. Get a Virtual Business Office Address
Did you know that in Mayfair & St James's, London, prime office space can cost as much as £110 per square foot ? Even renting an office space in Midtown can still cost you £67.5 per square foot! So, it’s no wonder London is the 22nd most expensive city in the world!
As a start-up, the last thing you want is to use much of your finances towards rent. And you don't have to. If you only need an official business address for your virtual company, you can rent a virtual office . This way, you'll get a prestigious London business address, for a fraction of the cost. Why pay more when you can get a cheap virtual office in the UK ?
Looking to create a virtual business, you will find many virtual address providers out there, but be cautious not to get trapped in some murky affairs. We suggest turning your attention to The Hoxton Mix, where we have transparently established contracts and a compelling reputation on the market that speaks for us. We provide you assistance throughout the entire registration and will get you across all the bureaucracy.
4. Invest in a Virtual Phone Service
In the UK, almost 70% of contact centre communications consist of phone calls. That should tell you how vital having a business phone is for customer satisfaction.
To ensure that you won't miss even a single call (especially if your clientele may be in a different time zone), get a virtual phone service . This will make sure a phone associate will always be present to pick up calls. You'll also enjoy features like call routing, call transfers, caller IDs, and click-to-call. The best virtual phone solutions also offer call-forwarding features . This "sends" calls made to your business phone straight to your own number. You can set up which specific numbers can get through.
Plus, the best virtual office phone providers can even give you a dedicated 020 number. That's a prime London number, which can further increase your business' legitimacy.
5. Consider Hiring a Virtual Assistant
You should outsource virtual jobs for admin tasks that can kill your productivity. A virtual assistant can help with tasks like social media and email management. They can also keep your blog site updated and even do some bookkeeping for you.
6. Set Up a Well-Designed Website
Once you have your business address and phone number, you can set up a website! A superb website is critical to your virtual success; after all, it's your "online identity". Consider it as your shopfront that attracts new customers with cool visuals and catchy names so that you can hook them with quality services or products.
For this, it’s best you outsource to professional web and graphic designers. They can make sure your site isn't only pretty but also loads fast. Keep in mind that half of mobile site visitors leave a website if it takes longer than three seconds to load.
7. Use Project Management Software
Help your remote employees advance their virtual careers by keeping them productive. For this, it's best to use project management software, which is a must for collaboration. Trello, Asana, and Slack are some of the best collaboration programs to look into. With these programs, they can keep an eye on pending tasks and deadlines. They'll also know who's working on which project. This eliminates duplicates, which is a complete waste of time and resources.
8. Have Everyone in Your Team Use Time Tracking Tools
Time tracking tools, like Time Doctor, let you know how long someone has been working. For instance, it tells you when an employee logged in and logged out. You'll also know how many hours have already gone into a specific project.
You can also integrate these tools with your invoicing software. It makes paying your employees easier and reduces the risks of salary discrepancies.
9. Hold Regular Team Conferences and One-on-One Meetings
Regardless of where in the world your people are, you want to always communicate with them. Although daily Slack messages are great, you still want to hold meetings now and then.
For instance, you can have a virtual conference every Friday for project updates. Use this to congratulate them for a job well done, too. Also, consider one-on-one meetings for each of your team members. This is a great way to establish a more solid, two-way trust. Acknowledge their accomplishments and give them reviews on possible areas of improvement.
10. Stay on Top of Your Cybersecurity
A study found that between 2017 and 2018, 43% of UK businesses had a cybersecurity breach. 76% of those affected said the breach resulted from clicking on bogus emails. Another 24% of breaches were from malware, viruses, and spyware.
Avoid being part of the statistics by ensuring you keep software programs up-to-date. Always have your malware protection and firewalls turned on. And make sure all your remote employees follow the same security protocols.
The Hoxton Mix will Help with a Virtual Address for Your Business
The Hoxton Mix exists to help you begin a virtual business off the right foot. Forget about the tiring, unprofessional use of your home address and the risky, tacky reference to P.O. boxes. Let The Hoxton Mix's virtual office services provide a little spice of class and professionalism to your business. Let us give you a crisp address that safely keeps your personal quarters out of sight.
We carry years of experience with many successful cases behind our belts, so you can start your visual business assured that you are making the right decision that will pay off in the future. Our price is a delight for your wallet, given all the additional services we include apart from the address registration. We do mail forwarding, call handling, meeting room organising and other things that significantly simplify business operations. Feel free to contact us today and make an auspicious start for your visual business!
What do I need to start a virtual business?
Before you start an online business, you'll need a solid plan, a good internet connection, essential software, and a professional virtual office address, like The Hoxton Mix provides.
How to start a virtual business?
Start by choosing your niche, making a business plan, getting a virtual office address, and building your online presence. The Hoxton Mix can set you up with the virtual office part.
Is starting a virtual office business a good idea?
Sure, going virtual offers flexibility, cost savings, and a polished image. It's a smart move for businesses looking to trim expenses while maintaining a professional presence. These and many other benefits are available with The Hoxton Mix's virtual office services.
What can make a company to be virtual?
Companies go virtual to save money, allow remote work, and expand. It's about staying agile and efficient. Talk to us at The Hoxton Mix if you're thinking about going virtual!
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A Strategic Business Plan for a Virtual Business
The development of any business requires a carefully thought-through strategic business plan. These strategies differ for every company, depending on their target market, the products they offer, and the format of the company. Today, virtual businesses are growing in popularity, and it is essential to know how to develop business strategies for such enterprises. This post will discuss the process of building a strategic business plan for a virtual business.
A strategic plan is a sub-type of a business plan, albeit with a few crucial differences. According to Brunings (2019), it is employed for instituting and managing the direction of an already established organization. It covers at least three years to ensure the company gains an advantage over the competitors and achieves revenue growth (Brunings, 2019). Meanwhile, a business plan is used to describe a new business seeking funding (Brunings, 2019). Overall, a strategic business plan provides direction for the future of the company.
A strategic business plan consists of several vital elements, with each helping to shape the organization’s direction. They include the vision, mission, long-term goals, short-term objectives, and the action plan that will be used to achieve the set targets (Vo, 2019). A company’s vision and mission are similar concepts that help define the current objectives of the business (Vo, 2019). The vision and mission serve as the foundation for the goals and objectives of the business and the action plan. All the elements of the strategy are interrelated and are required for successful strategy implementation.
Building a strategic business plan for a virtual company is the process of developing the defined components of the strategy. The strategic planning process beings with the situational analysis focused on evaluating the company’s external and internal environments (Business Gateway, 2018). Thus, a virtual company such as Copious must assess other competitors on the market offering the same products and services, the legal requirements for running an online business, and the economy in general. As an online gambling company, Copious should focus on providing the players with the best customer service. Considering this organizational identity, the outline for the strategic business plan is as follows:
- Vision: To be the best gambling company experience.
- Mission: To connect customers with like-minded gamblers.
- Goals and objectives: Grow the customer base and develop reliable software that prevents interruptions during the games.
- Action plan: Employ a team of software engineers to improve the business’s software system.
Brunings, J. (2019). What is the difference between a business plan and a strategic plan? OnStrategy. Web.
Business Gateway. (2018). Strategic planning: The basics . Web.
Vo, E. (2019). What are the key components of a strategic plan? Web.
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Virtual Assistant Business Plan
If you enjoy helping people and are extremely organized, then you might want to start a virtual assistant business. For many entrepreneurs and small firms, it might be the ideal solution because you have the flexibility to work from anywhere you wish, and the companies you work with receive the assistance they require when they need it.
Whether you’re thinking about how to launch a virtual assistant business or grow an existing one you will need a plan for both.
Need help writing a business plan for your virtual assistant business? You’re at the right place. Our virtual assistant business plan template will help you get started.
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- Fill in the blanks – Outline
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How to Write a Virtual Assistant Business Plan?
Writing a virtual assistant business plan is a crucial step toward the success of your business. Here are the key steps to consider when writing a business plan:
1. Executive Summary
An executive summary is the first section planned to offer an overview of the entire business plan. However, it is written after the entire business plan is ready and summarizes each section of your plan.
Here are a few key components to include in your executive summary:
Introduce your business:
Market opportunity:, virtual assistance services:.
- For instance, your services may include administrative tasks, content creation, marketing, bookkeeping, etc.
Marketing & sales strategies:
Financial highlights:, call to action:.
Ensure your executive summary is clear, concise, easy to understand, and jargon-free.
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2. Business Overview
The business overview section of your business plan offers detailed information about your company. The details you add will depend on how important they are to your business. Yet, business name, location, business history, and future goals are some of the foundational elements you must consider adding to this section:
Describe your business in this section by providing all the basic information:
- General virtual assistant
- Social media virtual assistant
- Technical virtual assistant
- Personal virtual assistant, etc
- Describe the legal structure of your virtual assistant company, whether it is a sole proprietorship, LLC, partnership, or others.
- Explain where your business is located and why you selected the place.
- Additionally, If you have received any awards or recognition for excellent work, describe them.
This section should provide a thorough understanding of your business, its history, and its future plans. Keep this section engaging, precise, and to the point.
3. Market Analysis
The market analysis section of your business plan should offer a thorough understanding of the industry with the target market, competitors, and growth opportunities. You should include the following components in this section.
- For instance, small business owners and entrepreneurs would be an ideal target audience for a virtual assistant business.
Market size and growth potential:
Competitive analysis:, market trends:.
- For instance, the voice-activated assistant or AI has a booming market; explain how you plan on dealing with this potential growth opportunity.
Here are a few tips for writing the market analysis section of your virtual assistant business plan:
- Conduct market research, industry reports, and surveys to gather data.
- Provide specific and detailed information whenever possible.
- Illustrate your points with charts and graphs.
- Write your business plan keeping your target audience in mind.
4. Products And Services
The product and services section should describe the specific services and products that will be offered to customers. To write this section should include the following:
Describe your virtual assistant services:
Mention the virtual assistant services your business will offer. This list may include services like,
- Administrative support
- Social media management
- Email management
- Bookkeeping, etc.
Describe each service:
In short, this section of your virtual assistant plan must be informative, precise, and client-focused. By providing a clear and compelling description of your offerings, you can help potential investors and readers understand the value of your business.
5. Sales And Marketing Strategies
Writing the sales and marketing strategies section means a list of strategies you will use to attract and retain your clients. Here are some key elements to include in your sales & marketing plan:
Unique selling proposition (USP):
- For example, efficiency, multitasking, personalization, or 24*7 availability can be some of your USPs.
Marketing strategies:, sales strategies:, customer retention:.
Overall, this section of your virtual assistant business plan should focus on customer acquisition and retention.
Have a specific, realistic, and data-driven approach while planning sales and marketing strategies for your virtual assistant business, and be prepared to adapt or make strategic changes in your strategies based on feedback and results.
6. Operations Plan
The operations plan section of your business plan should outline the processes and procedures involved in your business operations, such as staffing requirements and operational processes. Here are a few components to add to your operations plan:
Staffing & training:
Operational process:, equipment & machinery:.
- Explain how these technologies help you improve the efficiency of your business operations.
Adding these components to your operations plan will help you lay out your business operations, which will eventually help you manage your business effectively.
7. Management Team
The management team section provides an overview of your virtual assistant business’s management team. This section should provide a detailed description of each manager’s experience and qualifications, as well as their responsibilities and roles.
- It should include, key executives(e.g. COO, CMO.), senior management, and other department managers including their education, professional background, and any relevant experience in the industry.
Compensation plan:, advisors/consultants:.
- So, if you have any advisors or consultants, include them with their names and brief information consisting of roles and years of experience.
This section should describe the key personnel for your virtual assistant business, highlighting how you have the perfect team to succeed.
8. Financial Plan
Your financial plan section should provide a summary of your business’s financial projections for the first few years. Here are some key elements to include in your financial plan:
Profit & loss statement:
Cash flow statement:, balance sheet:, break-even point:.
Determine and mention your business’s break-even point—the point at which your business costs and revenue will be equal.
Be realistic with your financial projections, and make sure you offer relevant information and evidence to support your estimates.
The appendix section of your plan should include any additional information supporting your business plan’s main content, such as market research, legal documentation, financial statements, and other relevant information.
- Add a table of contents for the appendix section to help readers easily find specific information or sections.
- In addition to your financial statements, provide additional financial documents like tax returns, a list of assets within the business, credit history, and more. These statements must be the latest and offer financial projections for at least the first three or five years of business operations.
- Provide data derived from market research, including stats about the industry, user demographics, and industry trends.
- Include any legal documents such as permits, licenses, and contracts.
- Include any additional documentation related to your business plan, such as product brochures, marketing materials, operational procedures, etc.
Use clear headings and labels for each section of the appendix so that readers can easily find the necessary information.
Remember, the appendix section of your virtual assistant business plan should only include relevant and important information supporting your plan’s main content.
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This sample virtual assistant business plan will provide an idea for writing a successful virtual assistant plan, including all the essential components of your business.
After this, if you still need clarification about writing an investment-ready business plan to impress your audience, download our virtual assistant business plan pdf .
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Important Elements of Business Plan
Frequently asked questions, why do you need a virtual assistant business plan.
A business plan is an essential tool for anyone looking to start or run a successful virtual assistant business. It helps to get clarity in your business, secures funding, and identifies potential challenges while starting and growing your business.
Overall, a well-written plan can help you make informed decisions, which can contribute to the long-term success of your virtual assistant company.
How to get funding for your virtual assistant business?
There are several ways to get funding for your virtual assistant business, but self-funding is one of the most efficient and speedy funding options. Other options for funding are:
Small Business Administration (SBA) loan
Crowdfunding, angel investors.
Apart from all these options, there are small business grants available, check for the same in your location and you can apply for it.
Where to find business plan writers for your virtual assistant business?
There are many business plan writers available, but no one knows your business and ideas better than you, so we recommend you write your virtual assistant business plan and outline your vision as you have in your mind.
What is the easiest way to write your virtual assistant business plan?
A lot of research is necessary for writing a business plan, but you can write your plan most efficiently with the help of any virtual assistant business plan example and edit it as per your need. You can also quickly finish your plan in just a few hours or less with the help of our business plan software.
About the Author
Upmetrics is the #1 business planning software that helps entrepreneurs and business owners create investment-ready business plans using AI. We regularly share business planning insights on our blog. Check out the Upmetrics blog for such interesting reads. Read more
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This is How to Build Remote Work into Your Startup Business Plan
9 min. read
Updated October 27, 2023
Today, the virtual business model has a radically new relationship with employees. Instead of going to the office and seeing team members face-to-face, the only contact they have is via phone, email, and other technologies .
On one hand, this can yield some major benefits, such as increased productivity and happier employees. On the other hand, it can slow workflows down if you haven’t organized and mapped out the process.
As such, it’s key that your remote team and working environment are now included as part of your business plan . That’s right — if you can nail this process on paper, you’ll find that creating seamless workflows is so much easier.
In this article, we’ll be taking a look at whether or not you need a business plan and how to incorporate every aspect of remote working into it.
- First, do you need a business plan?
A business plan is a useful document that helps you and any potential investors better understand your business. You might think you already know your plan inside out, but by writing it down you and your team will gain insights that would otherwise have been inaccessible. You may even discover new ideas and approaches.
With a business plan, you will be able to use it as a tool to outline the next steps you want to take and action items to get there.
A business plan also increases your chances of securing capital from investors. No business plan = no outside investment.
Lastly, entrepreneurs who write formal plans are 16% more likely to achieve growth than otherwise identical entrepreneurs who do not plan. Business plans are an integral part of starting a business.
Why do you need to include remote work in your plan?
There’s no doubt about it — remote work is the way forward for many startups. A virtual workforce is no longer something to consider for the future. Instead, it’s an operational strategy that many businesses are implementing right now.
However, successfully implementing a remote workforce is no mean feat. There is a lot to consider, including:
By adding remote working to your business plan, you’re helping your business overcome any potential problems that can easily be encountered if you’ve never used a remote team before. You’re also persuading potential investors that you know exactly what you’re doing. Yes, you’ll be working with a remote team, but you’ve covered all the bases so they will hit the ground running.
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How can you include these remote work fundamentals in your plan?
Anyone who’s written a business plan from start to finish will tell you how detailed it can be. Adding remote working into the mix can feel like you’re just creating extra hard work for yourself.
In this section, we’re going to break everything down for you so that you know exactly how to include it.
1. Make sure the objective is clear
Before you get into the real nitty-gritty details, you first need to make sure your overriding objective is clear. Why is your business hiring a remote workforce?
Early on, you’ll need to define:
- Who you are, including your company leadership and core offer.
- The type of remote workforce you will hire, be it freelancers, contractors, or employees.
- Where they will work — Will your workers work at homes (at their own expense) or will you furnish workspaces such as offices or co-working memberships?
- Whether or not your business will be online only — Perhaps only a portion of your staff will work outside the office?
Setting clear objectives from the start will help you understand your startup in more ways than you now know. You don’t need to go into great detail, but paint your vision so that you (and investors) understand how a virtual workforce is going to make your company a success. Keep in mind that you are likely to make adjustments along the way.
2. Outline remote working guidelines and policies
Outlining remote working guidelines and policies allows you to make it clear to your remote team what it is you expect from them. This should include all aspects of virtual work, such as working hours, communication expectations, cybersecurity requirements , and — of course — legal rights.
Your guidelines and policies could prove to be the most challenging aspect of the remote section of your business plan because you will need to figure everything out, from tools to communication expectations. But, don’t be overwhelmed, we’ll be covering what needs to go into your remote working guidelines and policies throughout the rest of this article.
3. Cover location and facilities
When your team is working remotely, they must have access to everything they need. This includes computer equipment, IT support, telephone access, tools, security, and other ergonomic equipment like comfortable chairs and desks.
You also need to make it clear whether or not the company will be responsible if something goes wrong with a remote worker’s equipment, or whether they will have to pay for repairs and technical support themselves.
Wherever the remote worker chooses to work, make it clear that they must take care to look after their equipment and devices (to protect from, among other things, theft), and that WiFi is easy to access and reliable.
4. Incorporate your communication plan
Communication is fundamental for all remote businesses. Creating a communication plan in your business plan can help you make the switch to a remote workforce as seamlessly as possible. Among other things, it will prevent delays and ensure maximum efficiency.
Make it clear what tools you and your team will be using to stay connected (more on this later in the article), and define what your communication plan is. In other words, how do you plan to contact team members? You can, for example, use Skype or Zoom when a point needs clarifying, or whenever you want to have a team meeting, but you can use instant messaging for less formal conversations.
Ultimately, you’ll want to find ways of creating a culture of online communication with solid rules of engagement in place so that staying connected is done with efficiency in mind. You might also need to address the issue of time zones — if people are working in different time zones, is there a way to change their working hours so that there aren’t lengthy delays between team members sending and receiving replies?
When drafting your communication plan, list down:
- Preferred methods of communication
- Rules for communication
Now, how to choose the right remote workers
To instill confidence in potential investors, you’ll want to demonstrate via your business plan that you’re hiring the right remote workers .
It’s key that you address where you’ll be looking for your hires. You can find remote workers on job boards, as well as global freelancing hubs, such as WeWorkRemotely and Flexjobs . But it’s also important that you address how you’ll be creating job posts that attract the best workers. For example, you could drive home the work/life balance benefits that come with working for your company, whilst making it clear how they’ll be paid.
You should also write down how you’ll conduct an initial screening process. A good idea might be to ask a select list of potential candidates to complete a specific task. Once this part of the screening process is done and you’ve narrowed down your candidates further, consider testing them with a full day’s work to see how they perform. The results should give you a clear idea regarding who your outstanding candidate is.
You also need to find creative ways to interact
A remote team won’t be successful if your employees are socially distant from each other and feel isolated. This sort of thing lowers morale and creates a sense of disconnect from your company, and it will make investors nervous.
It’s a smart idea to find creative ways to interact with your team members. You could, for instance, schedule a weekly team call with everyone that always begins with 10-15 minutes of relaxed “catch up.” You could also organize virtual games once or so a month, and pair off 2-3 workers who spend an hour each week chatting over a video about both work and non-work related topics.
Whatever you do, you should aim to find creative ways to interact that boost your company culture and morale.
Which tools should you utilize?
Using the essential tools will ensure that your team stays on top of tasks. Tools are there to make remote team management so much easier by improving communication, project management, idea sharing, and productivity.
When you write a business plan, make a note of any software you intend to use and how you will conduct the onboarding process.
Business planning solution
For your business itself, you must work with a business planning solution that allows you to craft a perfect business plan. The best business planning solution tools will give your entire business a framework that you can feel confident in and also help you present the plan to relevant stakeholders.
Managing projects can be tricky when everyone is working remotely. But with the right project management software in place, your whole team can engage with each other and the project in one centralized hub. The best tools allow for easy collaboration, planning, task scheduling, organization, reporting, budgeting, and they give a clear overview of the project so that everyone knows what’s been completed and what they need to do next.
Using cloud storage gives the whole business and any potential investors confidence that important files and documents won’t go missing. Cloud storage protects work from being lost, it creates a backup for everything and it can also encourage more cooperation between your team members.
Communication tools fundamentally help your remote team stay connected. However, there are different types of communication tools you can use, and it’s important to specify which ones your team will be using for what types of communication.
For example, an all-in-one tool like Slack is loaded with integrations and features that make it ideal for whenever your team needs to trade ideas and check-in on tasks. On the flip side, a customized Slack alternative is better for whenever your team needs to fire off instant messages to each other.
Virtual private networks (VPN)
Virtual private networks (VPNs) give you peace of mind that the work that is being created and shared by your remote workers isn’t accessible to anyone else. A VPN essentially gives everyone access to a secure database that, once again, will give both your business and potential investors more confidence.
Integrating remote work into your startup business plan doesn’t have to be complicated. It will take you a bit more time. But, as long as you use the advice in this article as a framework, you should be able to hit the ground running. Just make sure to cover as many details as possible and to use this as an opportunity to learn more about how remote working will work for you.
Clarify your ideas and understand how to start your business with LivePlan
Ashley Kimler is a B2B SaaS Copywriter, Content Strategist, and Founder of CopyNoise. She's been helping businesses of all sizes get in front of the right audience online for over a decade.
Table of Contents
- Why do you need to include remote work in your plan?
- How can you include these remote work fundamentals in your plan?
- Now, how to choose the right remote workers
- You also need to find creative ways to interact
- Which tools should you utilize?
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