Running a Virtual Business

Running a Virtual Business has never become a needed reality until now, however, the complexity has deterred many. This has made many to become individual users of the virtual space and not business users. 

For those who probably do not understand what a Virtual Business means: It is a company that operates outside the physical domain. Most of its operational and business processes are done online with the help of different applications.

Before now, most companies found it difficult to either begin blended operations that combine both the physical business operations and virtual business operations or even run a full virtual business. However, at a time like this when the COVID-19 virus is discouraging physical contact, to keep income flowing, it is essential to set up a virtual business operation.

So, today we will be exploring major business activities that can be implemented in virtual business with computer-based applications and their crucial features.

The first business process we will be looking at is reporting. Reporting is an essential activity that office staff and field-based professionals must do through writing to show the status of an assigned task. The task could be a query or the general daily reporting or an investigation. In a physical business environment, reporting and submission are done through oral and written format. But in a virtual business environment, this process will involve the use of a report-based application, where a task can be assigned to employees and they will be able to prepare and submit a report remotely. The application must have the ability for superiors to assign a task to the employees and also enable them to submit a report regarding the status of the assignment. This report can either be a prepared and scanned document or image.

Recruitment is also another very important physical business activity. It is needed to engage staff in different departments or units to function for the ultimate good of the business. For most organizations, the recruitment process involves different stages which range from the written test to practical and oral interviews. Employers can use Online Testing Centers to conduct testing for the applicants. For practicals and oral interviews, employers can use video-based virtual meeting applications. Beyond using the virtual meeting application for practical and oral interviews, it can also be used for virtual meetings with clients and business associates. A virtual meeting application should have features such as video sharing for users to see each other, screen sharing for presentation, live chat between participants for questions and answers.

Another important physical business activity is the payment process. How payment will be made and received; payment to suppliers and employees, payment from clients. Financial technology is one area of growth that the world has experienced in recent times. This development has made it possible to issue invoices to clients, document financial records, receive and make payment through internet banking solutions. 

Marketing is another activity that is needed by every profit-oriented business, whether a physical business or an online/virtual business. This is an income-generating activity that profit-oriented businesses must do to get clients or customers that will pay for their services or products. Implementing this in the virtual business space is to design and deploy a digital marketing strategy that leverages an existing crowd-based platform (social media) to navigate clients that will be interested in your products or services. A digital marketing strategy must include Search Engine Optimization, Social Media Platform, analytic, and measurement metrics.

Beyond getting a client, an essential activity after clients have been gotten with a proper digital marketing strategy is how to communicate with the clients officially. Emails have been the most popular and effective way for official communication.

Among the very few unpopular solutions is the possibility of collaborating with team members or fellow employees. In a physical business environment, the office is generally the workplace and it is easier to just walk into any office to communicate with anybody, ask questions, clarify issues regarding an assigned task or check if any staff is in the office. In a virtual business environment, all these can be done with the help of a collaboration application. 

A collaboration application is an online tool that helps a group of people to collaborate to achieve set goals and objectives. Generally, a comprehensive collaboration application should have a public and private chat feature to smoothen communication among the members of the group, and in this case the employees of the business. It should also have integrated business automated applications such as Customer Relations Management System, Human Resource Management System, Financial Management System, etc. Also, some or all of the previously mentioned virtual business processes can be integrated into the collaboration application as an all-in-one solution.

Virtual Business had never been accepted by the populace until now because it allows continuous business operations and enable the populace to get their personal needs. Therefore, running a Virtual Business is never and will never be complete without an online presence, which involves having your corporate website.