|One of the most challenging aspects of getting a virtual business up and running is the pre-launch phase, which includes lots of research and planning. Below are ten tips to help get you up and running quickly:
Step 1. Choose the type of service or product you want to offer.
Step 2: Certify that you have adequate knowledge, skills, ability, and industry experience.
Step 3: Lock down your business niche (your market) and specialize in two to three core service or product offerings.
Step 4: Evaluate how much time and energy you have to commit to getting your virtual business launched. Be honest!
Step 5: Identify who your clients are and how you will reach them.
Step 6: Ask yourself the hard question: Is there a need for my service(s) or product(s)? Use the following to make a true assessment: a customer, or a prospective customer, has to have three things: Need | Money | Authority | and all three must be present or else you're just wasting your time.
•Need - Do they need it - that is, do they have a problem which they recognize as needing to be fixed, for which your service or product is a good possible solution?
•Money - Do they have money - if they do have the need, do they have the budget under their control to spend on your service or product?
•Authority - Do they have authority - that is, do they have the organizational power to make the decision to buy your service or product, and, this is separate from having the budget itself.
Step 7: Give serious thought and consideration to your budgetary constraints, projected expenses, expected income and how long you can "float" until your business is generating income on its own; work on developing your online (virtual) presence; purchase domain name(s).
Step 8: Develop a business plan, action plan or plan of action and review it often to manage company growth.
Step 9: Get all legal and financial areas in order prior to securing your first contract or client; examine your equipment, software and virtual office space for maximum productivity.
Step 10: Market your service(s) or product(s) at every opportunity; work on establishing yourself as an industry expert; start your marketing efforts locally.
After launching your virtual business, consider joining one to two professional organizations, they can be local and/or virtual, doing so will give you the opportunity to network, build camaraderie, self confidence, and a personal support network.
About the Author
Victoria Parham is the president and chief technology officer for VSSCyberOffice.com, a forerunner in the virtual support services industry, an advocate of portable careers for trailing spouses and family members. Its web-based Virtual Business Owners Training Program(tm), the first Virtual Careers program for Department of Defense ID Cardholders, is available and accessible at military bases around the world.
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