Smartphones are so ubiquitous that you still need a dedicated local landline number to start a business.
Pan Shiyi, chairman of SOHO China, posted a Weibo on January 23, 2020, saying that the first half and second half of Wangjing SOHO were two days of ice and fire: in the first half of the year, several companies rushed to rent, and in the second half of the year, one rented several. The company with 10,000 square meters had already completed the decoration, furniture and equipment. Due to the drastic changes in the market environment, the company could only withdraw the lease, keep the furniture and equipment, and have to deal with the resignation of employees.
This is the risk chain of doing a writing road leasing business in a rapidly changing environment: when the company encounters a bottleneck or fatal blow to the business, it wastes a huge amount of rent and hardware costs, which is worse.
It is not only big companies and big businesses that have this risk. The detective editor has seen a maker space with only one small building, and once a large customer wanted to settle in, he drove all the small “retail” companies on the prime floor and location. When we arrived at the corner of the building, as a result, after half a year, the major customers did not come, the prime floor was always empty, and the popularity of the building declined. After a while, the maker space was transformed into parent-child education and investment promotion.
So, it’s time to take a look at the “virtual office”.
1. Under the impact of the epidemic, their business did not drop but rose
“Lujiazui’s office environment is fascinating. Put down your emails and phone calls, and you can see the Huangpu River and HSBC Bank. Looking at the century-old Shanghai on the other side of the river, the bustling city in front of you, this Shanghai where East and West, tradition and modernity can never be separated. , will give people unlimited power.” said a person in charge of Jiebao International (China) Co., Ltd.
Jiebao Yangxing is an import and export company engaged in medical equipment and packaging consumables. It was established before the epidemic in 2019. Its customers include the world’s top 200 raw material companies with more than 100 years of history, and BD Medical, S&N, JNJ, Midland and other top international pharmaceutical companies. Because it is a sales-led startup company, I hope to have both service cost and office environment, and compare the co-working brands of naked Valley, WeWork and Krypton Space.
Jiebao & Co finally chose an old-fashioned foreign-owned shared office service provider, Servcorp (hereinafter referred to as Servcorp), because, compared with WeWork’s Internet code farming atmosphere, the company’s Hong Kong shareholders prefer the Citi Tower provided by Servcorp. Of course, the temptation to overlook Lujiazui is the most irresistible.
Due to the needs of the company’s expansion and the global business coverage of World Service, Jiebao & Co. won the service of No. 1 Peking Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong, and at the same time, they can use their conference room on the East Third Ring Road in Beijing, which is more convenient. Employees travel in three places to negotiate business with customers in a high-quality business environment. At the same time, calls, emails, and letters can also be received in multiple places. Shifu has equipped Jiebao International with a dedicated secretary, so there will be no omissions and mistakes.
(World Service Hong Kong)
In a nutshell, Jiebao uses two services provided by Shifu: shared office + virtual office, which flexibly allocates office resources, balances cost input and business activity environment, and helps the company seize business opportunities for the import and export of medical devices under the epidemic. It also avoided the impact of the epidemic on physical offices to a certain extent, allowing the company’s business growth to reach 200%.
As a result, the risk chain of the office building business has also become a revenue chain: only if the customer is good, the office building operation service provider can be good. When direct competitors fell into losses, such as WeWork’s loss of US$844 million in the third quarter of 2021, Regus’ total loss of US$172 million in fiscal year 2021, and indirect competitors such as Wangjing SOHO encountered the trouble of resigning from large customers and re-introducing business, World Service Total earnings (after tax) in fiscal 2021 were $28.5 million.
2. What is virtual office?
When talking about virtual offices, people may think of the concept of “AI”. For example, in Hamilton, Canada, a company has built a 3D digital office for employees. Office communication takes place in a virtual world, adding some sense of belonging and communication interest to employees working from home. Perhaps, the future Metaverse can realize virtual office in the sense of AI, but this is not the “virtual office” we are talking about here today.
Shifu also calls its “virtual office” business “Shared Office Plus” or “Shared Office Plus”.
First of all, World Service has physical office spaces around the world, operating in two modes: shared mode and service room office.
As mentioned earlier, unlike many shared spaces that focus on finding relatively cheap locations, simplifying services and office environments, in order to reduce costs and attract small startups, Shifu chooses core locations in first-tier cities. For example, two offices in Beijing are located in the east The Fortune Financial Center (FFC) on the third ring road is the office building of Samsung China at its peak, and the China Central Place on Jianguo Road, adjacent to the famous SKP, customers have a certain threshold, mostly in the fields of finance, headhunting, lawyers, etc., or The leaders in traditional industries such as medicine and clothing have more business communication activities.
At present, there are more than 150 shared spaces in the world.
Secondly, on the basis of the operation of “physical space”, World Service launched a virtual office as early as 1980.Although it is called virtual, the services used are real: including local exclusive numbers answered by special personnel, prominent business addresses, IT and telecommunications resource support, exclusive secretarial services, and office locations in 150 business districts around the world. According to temporary or business travel needs, use office space or conferences (World Service virtual office products include 60 hours of mobile workstations per month, and can be used for independent office business trips 3 days per month).
To put it simply, employees do not have to go to the office to clock in from 9 to 5. The company saves this part of the fixed cost, but it can still use the space, manpower, and IT services provided by the World Service as needed with a small investment. For the price of a cup of coffee a day, you can have your own CBD-level office in the global CBD.
(Shanghai Bohua Plaza)
3. Why do you still need an exclusive local landline number when smartphones are so popular today?
Some people may ask: When employees can work remotely from home, why rent a virtual space service? Can you send and receive messages with a mobile phone? Looking for a Starbucks for an impromptu meeting or office, isn’t it delicious to actually buy a cup of coffee?
In fact, for the media, especially some self-media, this is true. It is not necessary to have an office to interview and write a manuscript. You can choose a topic in a coffee shop. As for the facade of your company, it is the manuscript. The manuscript is well written. Going for a walk and talking about things is theoretically feasible.
But many industries cannot do this. Jiebao Yanghang said that enterprises should provide customers with cost-effective services, but also provide a trustworthy space. They serve the pharmaceutical industry, which attaches great importance to professionalism and risk control. Not to mention that it is unimaginable to arrange formal business meetings in a noisy coffee shop, but to give customers a business card when contacting them in the early stage. , let the customer call a private mobile phone number to contact, and the other party turns around and throws the business card into the trash can.
The more high-end and multinational business customers may pay more attention to the various details of the partner’s communication process. In the past, when the detective editor interviewed a Nordic foreign company CEO, the other party’s PR even told some dress details, not to mention that they have not yet established a sense of trust. of potential customers. Therefore, a local real secretary, able to answer local exclusive landline numbers in time, and fluent bilingual ability is often the starting point for customers to trust. Externally, it can improve the success rate of customer acquisition, and internally, it is helpful for the company’s recruitment.
A good starting point coupled with a good follow-up business negotiation and office environment, in some industries, means that the business is half successful. For example, there is a clothing factory in Suzhou, which is engaged in high-end fabric business. I hope to expand the business scope in Jiangsu and Zhejiang, so I found Shifu and rented the service of a virtual office in Shanghai. Usually, I don’t need to go to Shanghai to work, but the new business calls and emails Waiting for the service party to handle it, some customers will make an appointment to the Shanghai “office” for negotiation, and the business has also been successfully expanded.
Looking at the legal industry, lawyers are actually a very independent profession, so some young lawyers will be affiliated with a certain law firm, but they will take orders alone, so many lawyers will choose the service of virtual office. , but also to give your potential customers a professional and powerful endorsement.
Interestingly, companies that rent SF’s virtual office do not necessarily need to look for business outside, because SF’s customers are relatively high-quality, and SF has built a social network for them, so customers can also look for and digest it internally. In terms of resources, it is said that a headhunting entrepreneur and a financial practitioner looked at each other, and the two reorganized to form a new company.
4. Only if you have lining, can you have face
On the surface, the customers of World Service are renting a “facade”, but in essence it is a service:
For example, the exclusive secretary must report the customer’s company and related information in the first time and accurately while picking up the customer’s call. Another example is that many companies need a stable, fast and smooth global network, which can directly keep in touch and communicate with customers.
But high-quality services are supported by heavy investment: for example, as we all know, the rent in the golden business district is very expensive – the per capita usage area of Shifu customers is 12 square meters, which is about three times the industry standard. Of course, maintaining the CBD level The operating cost of the office environment is very high, and the bilingual secretary with quick brain response and many skills needs to be paid well, and the global IT service network must be deployed smoothly.
As for the usual operational support services, an employee in some shared spaces may have to serve 500-600 people, but one floor of the World Service will be equipped with 3-5 employees, each serving 30-50 customers.
So how does Shifu reduce operating costs and give customers a “one cup of coffee a day” price?
The first is this model of “shared space + serviced office + virtual office”, which is equivalent to maximizing the value of fixed inputs (site, manpower, IT), and on the basis that resources can operate at full capacity, at a lower marginal cost Launch different services and a variety of different profit model combinations.
The second is to use technical capabilities to increase human efficiency. For example, what supports the exclusive secretarial service is actually a set of IT systems developed by the World Service. At the client support level, the system can quickly identify the company that the number belongs to, and customers can freely edit any exclusive greetings on the client side in real time, and ensure the accuracy of manual responses.
On the other hand, as mentioned earlier, in 2021, well-known shared office brands such as WeWork and Regus are all in the red. In fact, a batch of shared spaces in China had problems with their business models before the epidemic. This shows that finding a cheap location, sacrificing quality and service, and recruiting small companies at a low price on a large scale without any threshold will not work, and the company has become a second landlord, so there is no need to mention any incubators. It is normal for capital to go out of the pit. .
5. Value and future, not just facade
While the epidemic has hit the real economy, it has also changed the way our society is organized and collaborated like never before. For example, many companies have begun to try to allow employees to work remotely from home. At the same time, they have found that while the external environment is highly changed, virtual office is not only a passive way to respond to the epidemic, but also a way to actively embrace changes. For example, the company’s new business can use virtual The office model reduces input costs, which is good, but it can also reduce losses or leave room for transformation.
(World Service Sydney Gateway Office)
Therefore, instead of saying that the virtual office of SF is “virtual”, it is not “flexible office”. For enterprises, it means stripping off unnecessary office costs, including fixed scenarios and some administrative staff, and then press Office resources and services need to be procured from World Service. For individuals, relying on the product of virtual office, they can have powerful business office network services and administrative support in a short period of time, and gradually expand their business in a short period of time.
These are the needs highlighted by the epidemic, but not the needs arising from the epidemic. It is a new organization and collaboration model that will inevitably be born, and it is also an inevitable trend for enterprises to allocate resources.
Posted by:CoinYuppie，Reprinted with attribution to:https://coinyuppie.com/the-metaverse-is-too-far-away-why-dont-you-come-to-the-virtual-office-first/ Coinyuppie is an open information publishing platform, all information provided is not related to the views and positions of coinyuppie, and does not constitute any investment and financial advice. Users are expected to carefully screen and prevent risks.