The majority of the work force will soon be working virtually. That paradigm shift is happening now. Progressively larger segments of the population, even government workers, are going virtual. This trend is accelerating due to several compelling, interconnected forces. And this trend offers great competitive advantages to entrepreneurs, start ups and small businesses. These compelling forces include:
• Increasingly pervasive global Internet accessibility
• Powerful and inexpensive cloud computing solutions
• A population that is rapidly embracing the Internet in increasingly intimate spaces
• Massive savings on overhead for employers
• Extremely inexpensive or even free communication (Skype, Instant Messaging, Dimdim, GoToMeeting, WebEx, etc.)
• Social networking and related tools like Facebook, LinkedIn, eMail and YouTube
• Increasing costs related to energy and commuting
• Continued challenges impacting travel
• Time loss caused by commuter distance
These factors combine to give us the fundamental reasons for this virtual paradigm shift. This shift is happening with large corporations and small companies, with distributed work forces and solo entrepreneurs, with stay at home moms (or dads) and high-powered consultants. Take a quick look around your neighborhood and you’re likely to find 25% of your neighbors already working from home. We’re not just talking about telecommuters; many of these virtual workers are entrepreneurs, small business owners, contractors, consultants, and independent professionals beginning to take advantage of a better, more profitable model and a more flexible lifestyle.
The virtual model levels the playing field, offering small businesses powerful cloud computing, cost effective web site development, robust eMarketing and web seminar capabilities and a cacophony of contractor services at their fingertips. The expensive main street store has been replaced with a highly cost effective home based operation, but the home based operation can look just as professional as a billion dollar conglomerate.
You may have heard the famous sales adage, “nothing happens until someone sells something”. This saying rings true for both traditional and virtual businesses. But virtual businesses offer a much better path to profitability and improve the likelihood of success – after all – 30% or more of your traditional overhead disappears resulting in a dramatic gross margin improvement over traditional brick and mortar companies. And today – you no longer have to worry about looking or sounding like a reputable business – it’s easy to do using the virtual model.