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Propel your business into the stratosphere with virtual services

Everyone in business is looking for an edge over their competitors. Whether it's getting a cheaper supplier, finding a unique product or offering a better warranty we all want to get that edge. One way that you can really give your business a boost is to get yourself some virtual services to help you manage your business. Virtual services are not only cheaper than physical but can also give you an edge in terms of the quality of service that you can deliver to your customers. That has got to be a win/win in anyone's book. Here are 7 services that can really give your business a boost.

(1) Virtual Servers

Back in the dark ages (last century), if you needed computing power then you would need to go out and buy it. Just a basic blade server could cost several thousand dollars and not only would you need the server itself but you would also need to get yourself some sort of rack, a UPS system, a connection to the internet, a bunch of cables and potentially an air conditioned room. At the end of the day you could potentially be up for as much as $20k setting up your server. Unfortunately, having your server set up is no guarantee that you will have enough computing power to manage your business. If you have under spec'd your server then you may need to add additional servers, CPU's or RAM to get it up to scratch.

Fortunately these issues are now potentially a problem of the past. These days if you need computing power there are a whole range of ways that you can go out and get it. Firstly, platforms like Amazon will sell you computing power by the minute if you need it. You can easily scale up or down as you need it and you pay in incremental costs. If you would prefer to have your own server then Australian companies like Digital Pacific (www.digitalpacific.com.au) have a whole range of servers available at really affordable prices. The great thing is, as your business grows you can quite easily scale up your CPU's, your disk space, your RAM and your overall computing power. Getting a virtual server is a great way to save money that you can then spend on promoting and marketing your business.

(2) Virtual Backups

Years ago, if you wanted to do a professional backup of your data you would need a lot of equipment. Initially it would have been floppy drives or backup tapes while later it would have been tape drives, raid systems and external drives. On top of having your backup media you would also have to have a schedule (grandfather, father, son) and you would need an external place to keep all of this data. Not only was it a costly exercise but it also consumed a lot of time.

Nowadays it is so much simpler. There are a whole range of services out there that will provide backup services over the internet whenever you need them. Also, unlike the old system where you needed to spend hours tracking down the files that you needed, with the current systems they will take an image of the drive that needs to be backed up. This means that you can simply reload your drive at a specific time. Another great aspect of these modern backup systems is that they incrementally backup only what has changed since the last backup. This means that after you have completed your first backup each additional backup will be completed in a relatively short period of time and will only take up a relatively small amount of space.

(3) Shared drives

Shared drive technology has really opened up the possibilities for group work and collaboration. No longer do you have to pay for expensive airfares and hotel costs to go and get involved in group work. With the development of technology like Dropbox and Microsoft 365's Onedrive you can now set up work groups and collaborate on a whole variety of projects. These products are also great for sharing large files between different offices. With Dropbox you can simply send a link to a Dropbox folder and the recipient can simply click on that link and access the files that you have left for them.

(4) Online booking services

No longer do you need to have your customers ring in to your office to setup their next appointment or booking. These days there are a number of platforms out there that can integrate into your website and allow you to take bookings over the internet. With some of these platforms you can also manage your seating plan if you are a restaurant. Most of these online booking services offer a monthly subscription model so the cost will not impact your cash flow too significantly.

(5) Virtual Addresses

Setting up a physical office can cost a fortune. Not only do you have to find a location that suits your business (and pay the appropriate rent) but there are a whole swag of other costs that you are going to be up for. If the place that you are going to rent is a new build then it is likely that you will need to pay for a fitout. On top of the fitout build you will need to pay for furniture, equipment, getting your utilities connected, getting your signage made plus much much more. Once you have finished with the setup costs you could well have spent anything from 5 to 6 figures. The impact on your business will not just be the money. You also need to think about the time that it is all going to take. Even a quick fitout could cost you a month of operating time. Fortunately, there is an easier way.

With a virtual office you can get yourself a prestigious address without all of the hassles and costs that usually go with them. A virtual address gives you the opportunity to use the address on all of your marketing materials, websites and Google My Business page. You can use the address on your business cards, brochures and price lists. A virtual office gives you the ability to work from wherever you want, when you want. If you feel like working out of a trendy cafe or your home office then it is totally up to you. Also, if you need to physically meet with your clients then many virtual office locations will have meeting facilities available at quite reasonable prices. You really get the best of both worlds with a virtual office.

(6) Telephone Answering Services

Back in the days of needing a physical office space you also needed to have a physical receptionist to sit out the front, greet the people coming in and answer the incoming calls. Nowadays it is much more practical to get yourself a virtual receptionist or a telephone answering service to manage those incoming calls. The way that it works is easy, firstly, if you sign up with a service like the one offered by Ruby Receptionist then you will be allocated a unique telephone number for your account. You then divert your existing number to this unique number and it is then the phone number that we answer. You may decide to divert the calls immediately or you may decide to divert the calls after a specific number of rings, it is totally up to you.

When we do answer those calls we will answer with a pre-agreed greeting. This greeting is totally unique to your business and can be changed at any time that you like. If you want to change it to match a marketing campaign or the holiday season then you can do that easily. Once we have taken your message we will then forward you either an email or an SMS containing that message. The whole process takes just minutes and you can happily respond to your messages at a time that is suitable for you. Think of all the extra time that you will have in a day if you are not constantly having to drop everything to pick up that phone.

(7) Virtual Assistants

With the development of the internet has come the development of the virtual worker, specifically virtual assistants. A virtual assistant is an individual who can carry out a lot of your more menial tasks while operating from a completely different location. In some instances these assistants could be operating from remote locations or potentially other countries.

Ruby Receptionist offers a virtual assistant service to its customers. Our assistants are all Australia based and can perform a variety of tasks. You may want to use our assistants to take orders for your business or you may get them to fill out web forms when customers ring in. The range of tasks that our Virtual Assistants can carry out is only limited by your imagination.

Like to consider using some virtual services for your business? If you are interested in virtual receptionists, virtual addresses or virtual assistants then why not give one of our friendly customer care representatives a call on 1300 72 10 73 and we will be happy to help you out.