In this age of instant communications and web-based business services, there are new and innovative ways to start and build a Westchester business. If your budget and time are limited or if your potential partners or co-workers are dispersed, consider operating as a “virtual business,” where much of your business structure will exist online.
The virtual business trend has transformed how millions of small, successful firms operate in Westchester and across America. Under the virtual model, business owners outsource nearly everything—including people and partners who may be anywhere—to create their company. The technologies and web-based services that tie it together are becoming more sophisticated and less expensive all the time, fueling the move to virtual operation.
Although you will no longer have a traditional office, you still have to manage the business and your workers effectively. You have to stay connected and work in unison. Using cell phones, e-mail, instant messaging and shared workspaces on the web will help it to run smoothly. There’s a delicate balance between the virtual world and the need to develop personal relationships.
With people interacting only electronically and with little face-to-face contact, you need to make an extra effort to foster trust and bonding between the people involved. Talk by phone, use web conferencing and try to meet in person when possible. By leveraging the strengths that virtual business affords, your flexibility can offer shorter turnaround and lower overhead.
The Microsoft Small Business Center provides nearly everything needed to get up and running. It consists of small business tools and services such as web marketing, payment processing, online catalog creation, shopping cart, list building, banner ads and search engine submission.
Weboffice.com and hotoffice.com both specialize in offering small business web space and tools to communicate and collaborate. Yahoo Small Business and hostway.com also provide tools and services for virtual retail businesses.
Whether you operate virtually or in the bricks-and-mortar world, the small business mentors at SCORE Westchester can provide invaluable help.
Call our office at 914 948-3907 or set up an appointment for free and confidential face-to-face advice.