Virtual Office Niches
Establishing a niche for your virtual office can be confusing at first. It is easy to find yourself all over the place, retaining clients that require several different needs, and then obtaining projects from the opposite end of the spectrum. This can work fine when starting out, however as your virtual office starts to grow, it will prove difficult to complete jobs. Also it will be easy to favor one task over another. This can be overwhelming so either you have to hire someone else or outsource some of the jobs. Hiring an employee can be expensive, especially if you need an employee that can do everything. Outsourcing is fine, however there is a chance that the work is not comparable. So the best thing to do when the virtual office starts to grow is to determine a niche.
First, decide if the virtual office is going to be retaining clients. A client based virtual office requires the business to be more personal and to establish relationships with its customers, however the services they will need will be more general. For instance, one client will need a bookkeeper, the next may need the virtual office as a phone answering service. Another client may only need a transcriber. The point is, they each only need one particular service, however each service requires an expansive knowledge of all these things combined. This is fine and if you do not have the skills necessary, it is easy enough to decline your services or point them to a virtual assistant that is better suited, but it is always best to have your office servicing particular needs in order to avoid these situations. Being client based, will allow the virtual office to easily discover its niche. It could be as simple as bookkeeping, or bookkeeping and transcribing services instead of phone answering or customer service, etc.
A project based business model can get out of hand very quickly and finding a niche in this department can take some time. For example, the virtual office was hired to do a logo. Perfect, anyone can do a logo design and it is easy enough, that is if you know what software the client wants the logo created in. Another project could be to write a few "how to" articles. Once again, what software and what type of content that is required might be out of the scope of the virtual office's expertise. Therefore establishing a virtual office under the project based format should be handled with a great deal of care. If you have the knowledge base for logo design AND being an article writer, you can sell your services as both.
So to obtain the logo designing and article writing projects, or any projects for that matter, the virtual office would sell its services by what software is used and what type of content writing. An example for a logo design niche would be, "Photoshop, Illustrator, and Gimp services", and for content writing it would be "1000 word articles for Food & Beverage" etc. This will help in getting more tasks. The more creative you are with the niche, the better. It is not wise to settle for just "bookkeeping". Take it to the next level and by including the services that bookkeeping entails such as "taxes, spreadsheets, invoicing,", etc.
So establishing a virtual office niche with success does take some time. It can be as easy or difficult as you make and as you can see, it is definitely worth creating a niche. If this doesn't happen, it does not mean the virtual office failed, it just means that the services and projects will go from scope to scope and this proves to be an ineffective way to get jobs done.
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