It can be suggested that COVID left us with a legacy – an accelerating trend that was already in it’s early stages – a move towards a more digital world. True to their entrepreneurial nature of overcoming adversity, a number of entrepreneurs designed and implemented a digital offering of their products and services just to survive. What is most impressive is just how short a period of time their e-commerce and online presences became a reality.
A virtual business is any business that conducts all or most of its business via the internet. It may or may not have a physical presence—such as an office or warehouse—but oftentimes, there isn’t a physical location that customers can visit. Virtual businesses optimize this advantage by trimming unnecessary costs, including outsourcing nearly all its business functions such as product development, marketing, sales, and shipping. Virtual retailing is the most common form of virtual business as one of the easiest costs for many companies to cut is the overhead that comes with retail space
The pros of this transition can include cost savings, flexibility when it comes to working conditions and work/life balance, we well as an opportunity for business owners to have an employee base spread out beyond urban centers, all of which can contribute to productivity. As mentioned, reducing the need for employee workspace and retail space saves money on overhead costs such as commercial building leases, utility bills, insurance premiums, and more. Flexibility allows for agility and faster reactions to changes in the marketplace.
Downsides can include impacts felt within the company culture due to a lack of face-to-face interaction between employees and teams. It may be a challenge to know where your clients are. You could also find yourself dealing with and inter-provincial and international business issues like licensing, taxation, and logistics to name a few. Staffing, HR and managing staff remotely isn’t for everyone. Finding the right professional advisors who are experienced dealing with virtual businesses is critical, as they can help to ensure your business needs are met.
What is this episode about?
After Covid restrictions prevented bulk food sales, a Vancouver-based package-free grocery store had to change its business model ‘That was no easy feat’ said Alison Carr, Co-founder of NADA Grocery. On this episode, she explains how their operation was able to both supply its current customers while deepening its roots in the community due to their successful pivot to online shopping. Elyssa L. Lockhart, Partner, Fasken / Trusts, Wills, Estates and Charities Department and Blair Kaplan Venables, President, Blair Kaplan Communications share their knowledge on subject matters involving the legalities and legislative matters to consider when enacting business transactions across multiple jurisdictions, as well as the processes to follow when developing a strong social media presence and brand that supports this monumental transition.
What are you hoping will come out of the show?
This episode highlights the shift towards how businesses will operate post-pandemic and the logistics of incorporating automation into your business plans. Elements to consider in this pivot include digitization, website and software upgrades, inventory, pricing, point-of-sale systems, and the management of staffing, HR, PR, marketing, and sales to adapt to a work-from-home model. Our guests demonstrate that it is possible to maintain accessibility of the enterprise as well as business viability while adapting business operations to the digital landscape. We answer such questions as: Where to start? How do you move your offline business online? How can you start connecting with customers and driving sales?
Jim Doyle, Doyle & Associates Private Wealth Management, Investors Group Financial Services Inc.
This is a general source of information only. It is not intended to provide personalized tax, legal or investment advice, and is not intended as a solicitation to purchase securities. Jim Doyle is solely responsible for its content. For more information on this topic or any other financial matter, please contact an IG Wealth Management Consultant. Views of guest speakers may not be shared by IG Wealth.