Business is changing. This isn’t just down to global financial crises and system failures, but to the impact of social media and increased digitization of society. Retail in particular is moving off the high street and staking its claim primarily online.
Current business trends point toward a movement to primarily online commerce transactions. 2011 Christmas sales in store were down this year while online stores saw their profits rise dramatically (so much so that it almost broke the postal system – they were strangely unprepared!). Businesses still operate on the high street but the majority of revenue for companies seems to be moving to the World Wide Web. Empty shops and high street ghost towns are emerging more and more, especially with the closing down of widely known high street presences such as La Senza, Blacks, and Barratts, all making many staff redundant and closing up high street shops.
Even those who previously sought a high rent address in the coveted W1 post code area are recognising the benefits of a virtual office address in London rather than an actual one. It may seem strange to suggest business moves from physical space to virtual spaces. If the world continues to drive forward at such a highly digital pace we could end up in something like “the Matrix”, as digital rather than physical beings that become unaware of the real world falling apart around us. But for businesses looking for a survival plan in the face of our ever shifting economy and business world, virtual space is the way forward.
Here are three reasons to go virtual in 2012:
1. Trends hint at the way forward: As mentioned above, retail and business trends are pointing toward e-commerce rather than high street commerce as the way of the future. Businesses that have a strong online presence are more likely to succeed despite economic dips and droughts. This means less money should be spent on physical space and more directed toward creating an affable online trading space and a positive social media presence.
2. Technology is more than a tool now: Much of the technology we’ve created over the past few years has been to make our physical lives easier. Now, technology is changing how we function. We used to be able to function as we had for decades with each of us in our offices, with ties and suits and/or skirts and blouses. However, mobile technology, apps, tablets, and social media has shifted everything. A physical address is no longer a requirement. A mail forwarding address is more cost effective than an office on the high street, and creates freedom for your business. Embrace it.
3. Rental & property prices are on the rise: Inflated rental prices and cost of living, high interest rates and less overall trust in banking as a whole means laying out thousands each month on high overheads for electricity, gas, and equipment is just not sensible. Businesses should be doing everything they can to carry on and overcome unfair pricing and inflated expenses. Online businesses are flexible, more affordable, and less likely to contribute to rising high street ghost town occurrences across the UK.
Don’t fall behind, stay ahead and take your business into the virtual world. This way even if we do end up in the Matrix, you’re more likely to stay on top.