Virtual Office Policies And Procedures
Establishing policies and procedures within your virtual office is one of the best practices for a successful business.
One of the most important policies is when the work commences and when the work should be completed. How this is implemented can go about several ways. For instance, some virtual offices will choose to do this with a letter of agreement which will include an outline the project details, when the project will be finished, and the purchase price of the accomplished deliverables. Other offices have been known to do their negotiations verbally, however it is not suggested and does not protect either party as effectively as a written letter of agreement will. Regardless of how these policies are implemented, a small deposit is always agreed upon before any work is to begin.
Another essential policy is the setting of boundaries. After an agreement has been settled upon, it is a good idea for a virtual office not to do anything that is outside the scope of the original project and agreement. This can cause major problems especially if there are more than one person working on the project at hand. Communication can easily get misconstrued to which the blame and fault will always be directed at the virtual office. Also, policies should be in place with client relationships. Establishing a specific reporting and communication schedule is important to have in your agreement or else contact may occur at inappropriate times. Each client will have different requirements of communication so it is essential to establish these limits accordingly. There is nothing worse then getting a call at 3AM from a client if your virtual office conducts their work during all of the PM hours.
Having a record keeping policy in place is essential. This is one of those things that can easily get out of hand so establishing a schedule is the best way to keep this in check. Do not procrastinate on this. When obtaining clients and projects there are many details involved. The clients needs, the timeline, payments, their contact info., etc. Not only is there record keeping for the client, the list goes on within the actual office itself. Things like deposits, hours to job ratios, and deadlines to meet. Creating a policy for all the record keeping to be done on a daily basis or even taking one day out of the week to accomplish this will be critical to the success of any virtual office or business.
Adopting a disclaimer can make or break the virtual offices reputation. For example, if a virtual office caters to web design and a client performs updates or modifications to the deliverable, there should be a policy that discloses all the responsibility to the client for any mending if the updated site shall dysfunction.
A guarantee policy. This is a great idea and these can be used in many ways such as a marketing technique! For virtual offices, having a work deadline policy in place should be standard practice regardless. However, using it to market the business allows room for creativity. For example, "We guarantee all deliverables within 2 hours of your projected deadline or you get a discount of 10%". These policies emit a sense of haste. If haste is not the objective then another example would be "We guarantee the cheapest prices". These are only examples of how to market the guarantee policy and how to utilize them are endless. It's a matter of being creativity and market target.
To conclude, it is obvious that establishing policies and procedures in the virtual office are not only beneficial, but certainly essential to the success of any business. Not only that, but policies can be utilized for marketing and many other creative enhancements.
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