Who sets up shop on Main Street in the 21st Century? Can organizations operate without a physical door to walk through? The ability to run a business virtually is easier than ever (thanks to technological options), and yet requires unique adaptations. Constant connections are easy, even if creating deep connections are not. Knowing what you do is basic, however most people miss the step of figuring out why you do it. If you take some thoughtful steps (not necessarily through a door), then you can answer the question of where to do business. ~ Melanie Reinersman, firstname.lastname@example.org
FOCUS ON: Starting with the Why and Mastering the Basics
Whether you run a business virtually or with walls, the key is take the time to first develop a clear purpose. Then add professional people, a strong brand and flexibility to handle the highs and the lows to get a successful virtual business. Read one person’s digital journey toward a new business.
FOR THE PRACTITIONER: Selling Your Service Starts with Trust
How can you secure clients without having a building for them to walk into? Focus on trustworthiness, or the professional obligation of a consultant to help clients envision an alternate, preferable reality in a way that shows intent matters. This involves transparency, collaboration, paying attention and more. Read one company’s philosophy on improving business development by doing what it takes to be trusted.
FOR THE PRACTITIONER: Does a Policy for Open Door (versus Closed Door) Apply in a Virtual Business?
The debate over whether the manager’s door should be open or closed is written about at length (see, for example, Small Biz Trends and The Future of Commerce). But what if there is no physical door in a virtual business? How can an executive coach assist a leader in a wall-less business? Finding such help requires good-old paper books and journals – such as Work Without Walls: An Executive’s Guide to Attention Management, Productivity, and the Future of Work and the article from the Journal of Sociolinguistics, “Interaction without walls: Analysing leadership discourse through dramaturgy and participation”
COLLEGE AND UNIVERSITIES: Online Versus Traditional Education
Classrooms are where your computer is located. There is no door to walk through and no clock on the wall. The professor is not standing in the front of the room, and assignments are not printed on paper. Welcome to the virtual classroom. Career coaches and consultants may find themselves in the new classroom – either as teacher or student. Watch this video to hear more about the differences between the physical and virtual world of education. Also check out all the articles and blogs on www.onlineuniversities.com for educators who need to increase their virtual skills (e.g., communication, technology, and non-standaradized assessment).
TOP TEN: Common Job Titles in a Virtual Business World
Obviously Consultant is a typical virtual job title, as is Web Developer. But what about Nurse? Engineer? Gain insight into the options that exist online by considering more than just the expected job titles. Read all ten – make that 20!
“Business is a cobweb of human relationship.” - Henry Ross Perot
"I really believe that the virtual world mirrors the physical world.” - Marissa Mayer