Small businesses constantly struggle to competently manage service vendors, partners, employees, and customers, while finding innovative ways to market their products/services before their competitors snatch the market share. This requires being on the toes all the time without a moment to spare. In such a scenario, it is necessary to take away as much burden from your head as possible – this could be done effectively through a virtual work force.

Here’s how you can start with building an anytime, anywhere virtual workforce:

Identify areas of your business that could be virtualized

Approach this matter keeping in mind that virtualization is mandatory for your business growth. Analyze each job thoroughly. There would be certain jobs for which physical presence is necessary (face-to-face interaction with clients). While there would be some in which most of the time is spent on the computer or on the phone – such jobs could be virtualized. Examples of jobs that could be handled as effectively through a virtual setup are – 24×7 customer service, office administration, back-office, HR and payroll, accounting and bookkeeping, online marketing, website management, and more. Make a blend of physical and virtual as per your business needs. For services in which even proximity is not required, consider offshoring to save costs.

Recruit virtual employees or a virtual business services provider

Depending upon the size of your business you can either recruit virtual employees anywhere in the world, or you can find a single, reliable virtual service provider to do all the jobs for you. The best feature of having a virtual workforce is that the entire world is your recruitment space. You can hire the most qualified talent at the most suitable price. You can also get 24×7 services through your virtual employees.

Research the technology and find the tools that could be used for your business

There are many tools developed especially for virtual world environment. Many SaaS (Software as a Service) based tools are there for all aspects of business – employee management, online meetings, project collaboration, customer relationship management, web management, and so on. By utilizing these tools you can increase productivity and efficiency of your virtual employees and always be on top of all the business processes. These web-based tools are vital to make your business fit the anytime-anywhere bill.

Define sequences and operational protocols for all business activities

It helps if everybody is on the same page. Defining the way each process should be done for your company can go a long way in virtualization and help you swiftly change/add service providers when the need arises. New virtual employees can be added easily and trained immediately. The work would get done more efficiently and it would be easier to measure the productivity level and ROI.

Shift your focus

If you are used to working in a physical office environment, business virtualization requires a tremendous amount of change in your business attitude. Your vision should shift from maintenance and management to efficiency and innovation. Once your virtual business processes run seamlessly in a well-oiled manner, you can increase your focus on real business innovation. Treat your virtual employees as your own and offer substantial amount of training, career development opportunities, and motivation.