The words “Big business” carry a very particular social connotation. The big buildings, the black suits, the bad managers. Nine-till-five, five days a week, 8 hours a day; To us, this encapsulates the adolescent way of life. Our books, films and TV all tell the same story: A man or women destined to waste away through years of hard labour, in pursuit of the fruits hanging at the top of the corporate tree.
Virtual agencies throw this notion out of the window. Our advancements in cloud-based computing and digital communications allow us to form a new kind of business – one that exists purely in the digital, with communication transpiring over the world wide web. So long as you have a computer – and the skills for the job – contracted work can be completed on negotiated timeframes, from the comfort of your home (or any preferable working environment for that matter).
But just how sustainable is such a business model? After all, how does a company hire talent if it can’t predict its revenue streams?
To answer this, we need to visualise a virtual agency as a network, rather than a firm. Agencies such as HexGen can offer media and creative services (such as Web/App development, graphic design and digital art) under the guise of a single establishment. Using their deep network of experts and talent, they can pick and hire the professionals best suited for the role, with payment rolling out once contracts are signed. Income is controlled, profit margins are far easily predicted, and losses are kept to a minimum – the qualities of a highly sustainable model.
And the signs of this model’s potential are appearing all around us. FlexJobs estimates a 103% increase in telecommunication over the last decade alone, with that number expected to rise as the price of entry lowers. With almost double the amount of people exposed to digital media – and ecommerce at an all-time high – investing in digital services has become imperative for the continued flourishment of various industries. In other words, business is booming – and at an exceptional rate.
And while the industry strengthens, so do our tools. Microsoft, Apple, Adobe and Google have all integrated cloud connectivity into both their consumer-grade and professional products, allowing for sustained development of digital content from anywhere there is a computer available. Perhaps the most notable of which is Adobe’s Creative Cloud – enabling teams of professionals to all work on a single piece, from across the globe. With location no longer a factor, theoretically you could run a virtual agency entirely from the computer on your lap.
But how does this benefit the client you say? Well, clients can now connect to highly skilled veteran freelances at a reduced price – with teams of talent created for specifically the clients needs. With the perfect team for the job, projects can be handled totally by the agency, and due to the digital nature of the business, not only are there far fewer overhead expenses, but no overheads get needlessly pushed onto the client. But besides all the money talk, it’s important to remember that better work is produced when the professionals have a passion for what they’re doing. This model satiates that yearning for creativity – a positive outcome for all parties.
Ultimately, virtual companies can be just as viable and successful as a traditional site-based companies. These new and useful processes have allowed for collaboration and creativity from a variety of individuals all across the map, and with the Y generations ‘purpose driven’ work ethic, giving those with the ability to create the chance to do so will undoubtedly reflect a positive impact on the industry as a whole.
Author: Ryan Southall